Socceroos boss Ange Postecoglou has given his squad a video session with a difference ahead of next week’s friendly against Japan in Osaka.
The entire squad assembled in the team hotel and watched a documentary on the Socceroos’ heart-breaking 1997 World Cup qualifier with Iran at the MCG, where the Aussies squandered a 2-0 lead before the visitors scored twice late to steal the last place at the 1998 tournament in France.
The unique video session is another of Postecoglou’s tactics to get the current generation of Socceroos to understand who came before them and the huge opportunity they have at the upcoming Asian Cup on home soil.
“I’ve never actually seen any of the highlights for that game as I was only five when it was on,” defender Trent Sainsbury told FFA TV.
“But it was definitely good to see and some of the reactions of some of the players a few years down the track as well.
“Some were still a bit bitter and some had moved on already. But it was definitely good to see.”
The Socceroos meet their traditional Asian rivals on Tuesday on the back of some poor results, including a 1-0 defeat to Qatar last month.
This clash is the side’s last competitive hit-out before January’s tournament and a positive result would be timely, especially considering the Aussies have slid to 94 in the world rankings, their worst result ever.
“We can’t think about the Asian Cup. If the boys start to get scared that we’re running out of time we’re going to be our own worst enemy,” said Sainsbury, who believes he is in some of the best form of his career at present.
“The boys are starting to buy into (Ange’s philosophy) but ultimately we have to put it onto the pitch. The results aren’t there at the moment but the performances are getting better.”