Former Caltex Socceroos star Brett Emerton has offered some sage advice to Ange Postecoglou’s squad ahead of next month’s FIFA World Cup qualifying playoff against Syria.
Emerton was speaking in Sydney on Thursday where it was announced Stadium Australia would host the second leg of the upcoming playoff against the Syrians on October 10.
MAKE THIS CHANCE COUNT
Emerton is no stranger to high-pressure games at Homebush and was part of the team the night the Caltex Socceroos ended their World Cup drought against Uruguay in 2005.
“Everyone prepares for these games differently and prepares in their own special way,” Emerton said.
“[But] if I can give them any advice it would be just to enjoy it and go out there and make the most of the opportunity.
“You play football our entire life and you don’t get many opportunities like this to go out on the world stage in front of your home fans to achieve something special.
“It’s a crucial few months for the boys and something they should grab with both hands and make the most of.”
EMBRACE THE PRESSURE
The Caltex Socceroos cannot afford any slip-ups with only a win over two legs against Syria enough to keep Australia’s World Cup hopes alive.
“The pressure is always big. When representing your national team, you put pressure on yourself to go out there and perform well,” the ex-Blackburn and Sydney FC winger said.
“But I think as a player that’s what you look forward to.
“That’s what I miss as a retired player. I watch the boys and wish I could be out there making a difference.
“Although the boys didn’t want to be in this position I’m sure they’ll be looking forward to the challenge ahead.”
LET’S CREATE ‘ANOTHER URUGUAY’
A major part of the reason behind the Caltex Socceroos’ dramatic win over Uruguay 12 years ago was the incredible support of the home fans.
And ‘Emmo’ has called on something similar to help get Ange Postecoglou’s side over the line as they look to qualify for a fourth straight FIFA World Cup.
“Back in 2005 it was the most memorable night in my football career and having 83,000 fans support you and cheer you on makes a massive difference as a player,” Emerton said.
“It’s going to be a big night come the 10th of October.
“We need all the fans to come out and support the Aussies and let’s create another night as we did in 2005.”