Ange Postecoglou has described his constant tinkering and experimenting with his squad as his “pre-season” to ensure the Socceroos are ready for January's Asian Cup and World Cup qualifiers later in 2015.
Postecoglou has made no apologies about trying to broaden his talent pool since taking the reigns as Socceroos boss, even though results have been a concern since the World Cup.
He has made another five changes for the clash with Japan in Osaka on November 18, the side’s last friendly before hosting the Asian Cup on home soil next January.
“Nothing will get in the way of us building what we need to do over the next period,” Postecoglou said.
“We want to be successful in the Asian Cup and beyond that we want to have a team that competes well and gets results at the World Cup.
“Every decision has to be against that framework. At the moment I’m creating some artificial conditions that are proving challenging for us as a nation. So be it. I’d rather do that now.
“I can’t try things and experiment when the World Cup qualifiers are on or the Asian Cup. This is ostensibly this is my pre-season. I’m using it as a pre-season to make sure we’re ready Asia Cup time and beyond.”
The first stage of qualifying for the 2018 World Cup will begin a matter of months following the Asian Cup and Postecoglou admits there will no longer be time for experimenting at that point.
It’s why this upcoming friendly against Japan – the side’s last hit-out before January’s tournament – and the week’s training in the lead-up to the match is vital preparation for the Socceroos boss.
“It gives me more time to embed some things in our playing style. We’ve tweaked a few things and changed our formation a little bit since the World Cup,” Postecoglou said.
“The last two games in the middle east was our first trial at it. We’re trying to evolve the team into the style we want to play.
“The last two games we did that more on information than training, now we get the chance to train the way and to the style we want to play so the players get more comfortable with it.”
With six Hyundai A-League players in the current squad, there have been renewed calls for the competition to take a break during international matches so not to dilute the quality of the competition.
And Postecoglou believes as the Hyundai A-League continues to get stronger, it’s only a matter of time before that will happen as more players from the league are part of the national side.
“My ideal would be that out of a squad of 23 we have 18 coming out of the A-League,” he said.
“If the A-League keeps improving the way it is there will be a more serious discussion in the next two or three years about (breaks for international windows).
“The clubs are coping pretty well. Most clubs take that sort of attitude now and have faith in other players.”
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