Mark Bresciano admits the Socceroos need to improve their transition play after a 2-0 friendly loss to a star-studded Belgium on Friday morning (AEST).
The Socceroos slumped to their fifth straight defeat going down to heavyweights Belgium in Liege thanks to goals from Dries Mertens in the first period and Axel Witser late in the second half.
“We did well in patches but they were clinical. We lost a lot of the ball up front. I thought we struggled in transition when we lost the ball and they were good at counter-attacking,” Bresciano told Fox Sports.
“They looked dangerous going forward. They are a good squad but we made them look good tonight.
“It was a good chance for us tonight, they are a very good squad and they gave us a good game.
“That’s what we’re after, we want good competition as that’s how we can grow as a team,”
Underlining the point, Australian skipper Mile Jedinak believes the experience this batch of Socceroos youngsters is getting against world-class opposition is invaluable, now they have to start winning.
A host of young and inexperienced players got a shot, including debuts for Chris Herd, Trent Sainsbury and Brad Smith.
Tomi Juric, Massimo Luongo, Josh Brillante and Ben Halloran were also given some game time by coach Ange Postecoglou against the world no.5 ranked Red Devils.
“They (youngsters) got to see that we’re not far off it and that’s what we’re building towards,” Jedinak told Fox Sports.
“We want to come to places like this and play in these sorts of games and start getting results.
“That’s what’s been asked of us and we, as a group, have to respond. We take a lot of positives out of it but we have to cut out those mistakes as much as we can.
“I thought for the majority of the game we were quite comfortable just in those key moments, probably going forward we let them off the hook.
“It’s not what we wanted, particularly the result but we need to pick ourselves up and get ready for the game (against Saudi Arabia on Tuesday AEST).”
The Socceroos again showed some positives signs going forward – particularly in wide areas through Mathew Leckie and Tommy Oar – but were again punished for mistakes at the back.
Both of the home sides goals came after the Socceroos gifted possession to the hosts in dangerous areas – and they paid the price.
“It’s just staying concentrated. We’re working in a high intensity environment every time and when it does get out onto the pitch and a game we have to keep that composure,” Jedinak said.
“We have to take it out there for long periods of time. We can’t keep affording to let good quality opposition off the hook.”