France defeat has bolstered belief: Sainsbury
The Socceroos may have been ousted by France on Saturday night, but defender Trent Sainsbury says the 2-1 defeat against Les Bleus has only fortified belief among the Australian squad.
Australia's vice captain was immense at the back for Bert van Marwijk's side in their Group C opener and despite the crushing nature of their late defeat, the Socceroos are approaching their crunch match with Denmark with wind in their sails.
“Coming away from the France game re-fuelled us because we know we can tango with the best,” said the 26-year-old.
“We’re still running on a high and I don’t think that’s going to change until after the last game against Peru when we’ll see where we end up in the group.”
Australia's hopes of progressing from Group C have been quashed by critics throughout the build up to the FIFA World Cup™, but led by Sainsbury's superb rearguard display, the Socceroos tournament credentials were laid bare against the 1998 Champions.
Van Marwijk's men showed they will be tricky customers for the remaining challenges of Denmark and Peru, and after suppressing the threat of a talented France attacking force, attention for Sainsbury and the Socceroos turns to a Christian Eriksen-inspired Danish outfit.
The former Central Coast Mariner has insisted the Socceroos can build on their opening salvo, but insisted that the side avoid complacency ahead of Thursday's encounter.
“I’m happy to take on the best players in the world and against France it was a good team battle and being able to come away from the game was bitter sweet – I was happy with my performance but disappointed with the result.
“I’d trade it for a win or at least a point but I was happy with my personal performance.
“They [Denmark] have a great team of players, not just individuals, players in top leagues so it’s not just one person we have to watch out for.”
READ: Denmark Ultimate Guide
Socceroos striker Tomi Juric has also underlined the different threat Denmark pose to Australia's qualification chances, but says the side can't afford to focus all their attention on the opposition.
Juric, who was unleashed upon France midway through the second half, will be pressing his claim to start against Age Hareide's men.
“They’re a different challenge in a way – they’re more direct in their play,” said the FC Luzern striker.
“We saw them play Peru and they looked very direct going forward, quick and offensive.
"But if we get the small details right and train the way we want to play then I think we’ve got a good chance of getting a result.
“I guess you could say [our approach changes] but I don’t think it’s something we can focus on. I think it will be for us to go out and play our football. I don’t see we will really put that pressure and atmosphere of us needing to win but we’ll definitely go into the game wanting to do it."
Denmark v Socceroos
Date: Thursday 21 June 2018
Venue: Samara Arena, Samara, Russia
Kick-off: 4pm local (10pm AEST – Thursday, 21 June 2018)
Broadcast: Live in Australia on SBS and Optus Sport
HOW TO WATCH:Tune in LIVE on SBS or stream via The World Game websiteor the 2018 FIFA World Cup app. Click here to find out how to watch LIVE on Optus Sport on your TV, mobile, table, console or computer.
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