Experienced Caltex Socceroos defender Trent Sainsbury has heaped praise on his less-seasoned international team-mates ahead of game two of Australia's World Cup playoff against Syria.
And he's reserved particular platitudes for fellow central defender Matt Jurman, who debuted in Malaysia.
“When you've got a guy like Matt Jurman coming in for his first cap, he was outstanding,” Sainsbury told Fox Sports' Sunday Shootout.
“I didn't have to tell him one thing during the game, I didn't have to scream at him or anything - he's a top professional.
“You've got Aziz Behich coming back into the squad, he was fantastic.
“Milos [Degenek] has set that place for himself in the squad now and you'd almost call him a regular.
“I thought Josh Risdon was fantastic as well. The back five in general were outstanding with Maty Ryan behind us having a blinder as well,” said Sainsbury.
Syria brought physicality to Thursday night's first encounter, with the contest often descending into a war of attrition.
But Sainsbury says that's exactly what they expected.
“There's a lot on the line. They were very physical [with] a few rash challenges,” said Sainsbury.
“We expected that, we watched a lot of video on them and were prepared for that and were prepared to match them in every tackle.
“Our philosophy is going to stay the same and I don't think the Syrians are going to change at all. There'll be a lot more long balls if anything from them.
“It's still going to be a very physical game but we just have to continue our way and continue the process and keep moving forward.”
With the tie delicately poised at 1-1 ahead of tomorrow night's second leg in Sydney, Sainsbury insisted Australia's approach wouldn't change.
“We've got a nice pitch to play on so we're going to try to pop the ball about quite a lot and get them moving,” he said.
“I can't give away all the tactics, but [we'll play] a very high tempo game to get them moving about and get them tired.
“I can't see them staying with us for the full 90.”
Degenek not taking his foot off the gas
Twelve months ago, Caltex Socceroos defender Milos Degenek was playing in Japan — now, he’s tearing up Serbia’s SuperLiga, having been named in the league’s best eleven for the first half of the season. It’s a credit to Degenek, 24, who signed with Red Star Belgrade in July
Degenek named in Serbian Superliga's best XI
Caltex Socceroos defender Milos Degenek has been named in the Serbian Superliga’s best eleven players of the first half of the season after his performances for Red Star Belgrade. AUSSIES ABROAD: Sainsbury denies former club Inter in first UCL start READ MORE: Where you can w
FFA to conduct additional injury assessment with Aaron Mooy
Football Federation Australia (FFA) acknowledges Huddersfield Town’s statement regarding Aaron Mooy released on Thursday morning (AEDT). Due to the significance of the AFC Asian Cup to the Caltex Socceroos, FFA will proceed with a plan to deploy its High Performance Coordina
Aussies Abroad: Rogic and Vukovic progress to Europa League Round of 32
The Europa League Round of 32 will have an Aussie flavour after Tom Rogic and Danny Vukovic both sealed their progression to the knockout stage of Europe’s second-tier competition. Rogic played 90 minutes as Celtic did it the hard way, their 2-1 loss at the hands of FC Salzbur