On the eve of their first World Cup match in Brazil, talisman Tim Cahill has issued an inspiring rallying cry to his inexperienced Socceroo teammates.
“Believe in what we have learnt over the last three months, ourselves and our tactics the boss has instilled in us,” Cahill said.
Speaking to reporters on Wednesday morning after the team’s final training session before flying to Cuiaba on Thursday, he was also asked about tactics, in particular how the Aussies will press the South Americans.
Cahill wouldn’t be drawn but he was fired up about how the Australians should approach the task at hand.
“We are up for every single battle and are willing to stand up and be counted,” he said.
“When you’re fearless things happen in a game.
“In 2006 I scored two goals in the World Cup. I was fearless. Hopefully it’ll be the same for some of these young lads.”
The team prepared for the most part away from the media’s prying eyes in Vitoria as final preparations begin ahead of Friday night’s clash against Chile in Cuiaba (Sat 8am AEST).
It’s now down to the business end of preparations, which began over a month ago on the NSW Central Coast.
“It’s looking pretty good. A lot of it [today] is about how we’ll defend and also attack,” the former EPL star said.
“And it’s all about how we execute that on the day against Chile.”
And the encouraging news is that finally, after being together for over a month, the Socceroos have all players banging on the selection door with key playmaker Mark Bresciano seemingly fit and ready to play some part against 'La Roja'.
“We have a real family atmosphere, there are no individuals and that is what you need.
“There are 23 players that are ready to go and I hope that ‘Bresh’ is one of those. He brings flair and composure,” said Cahill.
“He looks confident.”
Cahill stressed Chile won’t be underestimated by the Socceroos though the Aussies might be the ones being written off at this World Cup.
In a ‘group of death’, logically perhaps the focus is on the big guns from Europe in Holland and Spain as well as the dangerous Chileans.
And Cahill stressed that while much talk has been on Arturo Vidal and Alexis Sanchez, he’s not focussing on just these two – particularly so given Vidal is under an injury cloud – but also on their overall tactics.
“[Alexis] Sanchez loves to come to the ball but also gets on the end of goals. He can win you games from nothing.
“They take their chances, so we have to attack. If we are going to make an impact then we have to do that playing attacking football that will hopefully see us scoring goals.
“They normally play with a three [at the back] in the past or a four [at the back]. World Cups aren’t about 3-3 draws or 6-0 wins
“It’s a tactical battle. If they go with a four it’ll be interesting because it means they lose another man upfront," he said.
And the MLS star refuted suggestions that the Chilean defence won’t be able to cope with his aerial threat.
“Some of their defenders I know, they can jump quite high. Attacking corners and set plays I’ve been impressed with the leverage they get.
"Which is the danger of teams under-estimating them.
“Their defenders can jump quite high, teams have underestimated them in the past but we won't be.
“I know they’ll have a few holding and pulling to put me off my game. But it’s no different to the past," he said.
Have you signed up to receive Socceroos Insider – Daily?
Sign up now to receive our daily newsletter, delivered at 12pm AEDT each day, featuring all the best news and videos direct from camp in Vitoria Brazil.
For exclusive Socceroo videos from inside the camp in Brazil, head to http://www.socceroos.com.au/videos
And don't forget to get social with the Socceroos
When are your Caltex Socceroos in action this weekend?
Two Caltex Socceroos stars are set to go head-to-head in Scotland, while there is another pressure-filled 90 minutes ahead for Maty Ryan's relegation-threatened Brighton & Hove Albion. Trent Sainsbury and Aziz Behich’s PSV continue to push for the title in the Netherlands, whi
Former Socceroo Matt McKay to retire at season's end
Brisbane Roar skipper and 59-time Caltex Socceroo Matt McKay has decided the Hyundai A-League 2018/19 Season will be his last, bringing to an end his 18-year professional journey. McKay confirmed his retirement on Thursday, bringing down the curtain on a glittering career for
Aussies Abroad: Ryan’s Brighton in danger of relegation after Cardiff defeat
Maty Ryan’s Brighton & Hove Albion are perilously close to the relegation zone in the English Premier League after slumping to a 2-0 defeat at home against Cardiff City on Wednesday morning (AEST). There was little the Caltex Socceroos gloveman could do to keep out a goal in e