Australia V Uruguay Analysis With Alex Tobin

Alex Tobin is one of our most decorated players and holds the record for the most ‘A’ International appearances (87) for Australia. He shares his thoughts on tonight's big match.

Alex Tobin is one of our most decorated players and holds the record for the most ‘A- International appearances (87) for Australia. He was also involved in three World Cup campaigns and knows all about big games.

Now part of the coaching setup at Central Coast Mariners, Alex (pictured right) took time out to have a quick chat to the Mariners media officer Ben Coonan to get his thoughts on the World Cup Qualifying Play-off second leg match between Australia and Uruguay tonight and what Australia needs to do to win.

Ben: What were your thoughts on the first leg?

Alex: I was reasonably happy with it on two levels; first of all, how well the team played in the first half, spending a lot of time in their half and created great chances and it looked as though we could keep possession, which was very encouraging. The second half was encouraging again because we didn-t concede another goal even though we were a little strung out at times. Uruguay had a few opportunities to score, but our defence and goalkeeper did well, kept it at a reasonable margin and the game didn-t get away from them. Secondly and more importantly, in 40 minutes we showed that we can match it with them, create chances and scoring opportunities, which will be very important tomorrow night.

Ben: Pundits are suggesting a more attacking approach from the Socceroos for tomorrows match, what personnel changes would you make to help this, if any?

Alex: The one person that-s easy to single out is Tim Cahill, he-s certainly a possibility. He-s an attacking midfielder with an eye for goal and an incredible leap. Perhaps he was kept out of the first leg because of the yellow card situation, but for this leg he could be handy, he attacks the goal and he-s so mobile. Also there-s Marco Bresciano, he could come into the equation. With Bresciano, Cahill, Kewell and Viduka, there-s a lot of players that we have that on their day can score goals. We wont know for certain until kick off, but I-d imagine there-ll be one or two changes. I-d image the backline would be very similar, I imagine Vince Grella would stay for this game, maybe Archie Thompson may not start. Fortunately we-ve got a lot of options in midfield, as far as depth is concerned, it-s certainly our strongest line. Guus has got a lot of options on the bench if the result hasn-t been reached with 20-30 to go. Having said that, they have a very good defence to break down in the Uruguayans. They looked very comfortable in the first leg, set pieces didn-t bother them much.

Ben: Who, from Uruguay, impressed you the most?

Alex: I think their outstanding player was certainly Alvaro Recoba and I thought Dario Rodriguez looked good down the wings. Defensively, they looked solid, Montero marshalled his troops very effectively. In the second leg, the team is more likely to sit behind and counter attack, as such I think their most dangerous options would be Recoba, he-s certainly their standout by a long way, to combat him we wouldn-t want to be conceding too many free kicks and I would hope that we can do that.

Ben: Having played in these games before, how important is a parochial Australian crowd to help spur the team on?

Alex: I think it-s very, very important, there-s no question that it-s going to be a very loud and passionate crowd there tomorrow night. A highly probable possibility would be a 1-0 win, if so, a crowd getting behind their team can really lift them. All the players are fit professionals who are used to running 90 minutes, so if players have to go another half an hour, the crowd could just get them over the line.

Ben: What is the key to Australia qualifying tomorrow?

Alex: The key is to score two goals I guess! I think the key is to go out in a very positive manner, we-re a good attacking team we know that, but I hope we don-t expect to score 2 goals in the first 10 minutes. We need to be patient, I-m sure Hiddink will tell the team that it-s a game of 90 minutes, I don-t want to see them going helter skelter and being impatient, leaving huge gaps where they can counter attack and score.

The opinions expressed by Alex are his own personal thoughts and do not in anyway reflect the views of any person connected with the FFA.