Ange Postecoglou says a relentless attacking approach and the return of an “angry” Mile Jedinak will ensure the Socceroos hit no more road-blocks on the road to Russia.
The Socceroos have a huge six days ahead of them, with two crucial FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Kyrgyzstan and Bangladesh.
Still stinging from their upset loss to Jordan last month, the 124th-ranked Kyrgyzstan can expect to feel the full force of a fired-up Socceroos at GIO Stadium on Thursday night.
Even with a few key players missing through injury, Postecoglou has made it clear he expects a response and won’t stand for a repeat of their “comfortable” performance in Amman.
“When you’re not on your game you get punished that’s what happened in the last game,” the Socceroos boss told reporters on Wednesday.
“We were comfortable enough but I think we wanted to be comfortable rather than be aggressive as we have been in the past and take the game to the opposition and really put them under pressure.
“Instead of being aggressive we took our foot off the pedal and tried to control the game in a different way,” he added.
“The idea is you try to be relentless in your approach and we didn't. We were comfortable enough but had a false sense of security.
“We should have gone harder. In every game where we've done that, we've either been successful or at least given good account of ourselves.”
With those words ringing in their ears, you can be sure the injury-hit Socceroos will go all-out to apply the blow-torch to Kyrgyzstan from the opening whistle at GIO Stadium.
Driving that is likely to be skipper Mile Jedinak, who has missed the last three qualifiers through injury but returns at an ideal time.
Experienced duo Matthew Spiranovic and Mathew Leckie are both missing through injury, meaning Jedinak’s street-smarts will be invaluable.
“The one thing you can’t fast track is experience. A lot these guys, it is the first World Cup qualifying campaign,” Postecoglou said.
“Mile has been through it before so and he is the captain and to have him back is great and to have him back in the angry mood that he is in is even better.
“It's a testament to the team that we haven't had him for the last two camps and we haven't moaned about it or we don't talk about the absences but it is always great when you someone as significant as him is back in the fold.”
Jedinak joked he wasn’t that angry – more determined to make up for lost time and a poor result on the squad’s last outing.
“One result shouldn't make you throw your toys out of the pram. You have to get on with it and we're lucky to have another opportunity,” the skipper said.
“We need to learn from it and rectify it [on Thursday] night. The boys have a strong belief in the group…it's always exciting being with this group and in this environment.
“Who doesn't love that and playing at home tomorrow night is going to be no different.”
Kyrgyzstan caused the Socceroos plenty of problems on the counter-attack in their clash in Bishkek in June, an area Jordan also enjoyed plenty of success.
But Postecoglou denies his side has a problem defending in transition against sides that like to sit deep and then spring forward quickly.
“We’ve lost one game and before that it was working very well. I don’t think were vulnerable to the counter-attack at all,” Postecooglou said.
“When we play the way we can and as we have shown in the last 12 months, it’s very hard for opposition sides to score against us.
“The disappointing part of the last game was our attacking intent wasn’t as aggressive as it should have been. We were a little bit conservative in the way we played.
“The utopia system people want us to play doesn’t exist. Every system has its frailties but I believe the way we play our football will make us successful and we’ll continue to be that way.”
Both sides will have their final training sessions at the stadium on Wednesday evening, with the pitch likely to be heavy after a full day of rain in Canberra.
Storms are also forecast to hit the nation’s capital on Thursday which could further cut-up a GIO Stadium surface which is already threadbare in some areas.
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