Australia going for three points only

Australian coach Pim Verbeek has left no doubt that he is going for the three points on Thursday morning (AEDT) when Australia take on Bahrain at the Bahrain National Stadium in Manama.

Australian coach Pim Verbeek has left no doubt that he is going for the three points on Thursday morning (AEDT) when Australia take on Bahrain at the Bahrain National Stadium in Manama.

While admitting that the preparation has been less than ideal, Verbeek wants and expects his side to get the three points and take the team one step closer to qualifying for the 2010 World Cup finals in South Africa.

There will be a full Live Text Commentary Update of the match from 1.45am AEDT on Thursday morning. Match kicks off at 2.00am AEDT.

Australia remains unbeaten in its opening two games and is on top of the group table with 6 points, while Bahrain is on 1 point, with a loss to Japan and draw against Qatar from its opening two games.

“The plan is to qualify first and the sooner the better; I think every coach wants to be qualified as soon as possible,” he said at the official press conference.

“That-s why we do everything to qualify; that-s why it would be good to pick up the three points tomorrow evening.

“The preparation is not the best; players dropping (out); coming in Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. We have them all today, which means we have 18 field players and three goalkeepers in training; they-re all fit and ready to play the game tomorrow, which is good.

Verbeek knows how important this game is in the whole scheme of the qualifying process and knows Bahrain-s whole campaign may ride on the back of this result.

“I think we all know how important this game is, not only for us, but also Bahrain, because it can make a big difference if you can have 3 points tomorrow evening or 0 points.

“Interesting game; of course there are no easy games anymore in international football, so it will be a hard game for us. We-ll try everything to win the game tomorrow and I am sure my colleague (Milan) Micala will do the same.

“So it-s a game that both teams would like to win; interesting game; we-re all looking forward to play in this beautiful stadium.”

Verbeek has again been tested with his squad depth, with Qatar hero Brett Emerton ruled out, along with Vince Grella, Scott McDonald, Craig Moore and Matt Spiranovic from the original squad named. Mark Milligan, was called in to replace Moore, has also been forced to withdraw after picking up an injury.

But Verbeek has the luxury of recalling inform Harry Kewell, Mark Bresciano and Carl Valeri, who are all likely to step straight into starting eleven against Bahrain after they missed the Qatar match in Brisbane.

“What I-ve said already, we know with the Australian team it-s very difficult to prepare yourself for games like this. That-s a fact, but we never complain about it and we come here to do what we have to do and that is to try and win the game.

“We don-t spend energy on things we cannot change; it-s not the best preparation, but the players are confident and I am confident that they can do a job. They will make it very difficult for the Bahrani team and again, we try to win the game over here.

“We-ve always said that we need a big squad of players, because in the last game we missed some big name players like (Harry) Kewell, (Mark) Bresciano and (Vince) Grella and we still very well.

“Now we miss some other players and I still think we have a very good selection; I have 18 field players and I still have to disappoint two players tomorrow that they will not even sit on the bench; they-re here but not on the final list. That gives you an idea that I am still very pleased with my selection.

“My job is to qualify for the World Cup and I am picking the best selection and picking the best team; hopefully a winning team,” he added.