Goodwin on the Socceroos' standards ahead of Palestine match

Upon reaching Kuwait, Socceroos star Craig Goodwin spoke of the journey from Australia, the Socceroos’ recent performances and the resounding message that is surrounding this current camp.

The Socceroos were transported to Kuwait through a direct charter flight from Australia, which featured massaging on the back of the plane.

Goodwin was happy with the extra recovery allowed, speaking of the importance of the direct flight as opposed to stopping in another country on the journey, and of the massaging along the way.

“I just think it gives us that added bit of recovery,” he said.

“They set the bed up at the back of the plane and it just gives us that chance to get that extra bit of treatment, especially on a long flight of over 15 hours.

“But having that direct charter flight makes it easier as well - it’s a lot better than having to stop over in a country nearby, making the trip 24 hours in total.

“So it cuts that down and gives us that chance for extra treatment, and hopefully we’ll have the boys fresh for the game.”

The flight came following the Socceroos’ 7-0 statement victory over Bangladesh, which contained more goals than Australia’s last five games combined.

Throughout the camp, the resounding message from coach Graham Arnold and the team has been the need to convert the chances created.

Goodwin himself is someone who has good experience at being lethal in front of goal - in his three seasons in the A-League Men prior to this campaign, he’s outscored his expected goals, with the 2022/23 campaign seeing him hit 12 goals to an expected of 7.05.

The incisive winger spoke of a need for the squad to incorporate a similar sense of ruthlessness to that of Goodwin’s time in Australia with Adelaide United to move to that next level as a side.

“One of the real messages surrounding us has been the ruthlessness that we want to have coming into these fixtures,” he stated.

“We want to put away the chances that we have and really try and take that next step in going from a team that’s competing against some of the best in the world to trying to become one of the best in the world.

“So we definitely want to make a statement with every game we play and really have that ruthlessness in front of goal too.”

Reflecting on that Bangladesh game, Goodwin spoke of the need to pile on more pressure on opponents, particularly against Palestine, which will represent a different, more physical test for the Green and Gold.

“It was a very different game to what we’ve played over the last 18 months, playing some of the best teams in the world where we haven’t dominated the majority of possession,” he recalled.

“So for me, I think it was a very positive performance.

“We had a great attitude and created some really good chances.

“There’s definitely going to be some areas where we can improve in terms of having more of that pressure, having the ball in good areas and creating quality chances.

“But I think that’s going to come with more analysis and the more time we have together.”

It’s often Goodwin who is trusted to move the ball into the ‘good areas’ he speaks of.

From the start of the 2022 World Cup, Goodwin has (per 90) attempted 7.04 crosses, made 3.61 passes into the final third and created 2.06 chances, demonstrating his creative instincts.

Goodwin will need to continue his strong run of form ahead of the match against Palestine, where he believes experience will be key to obtaining victory.

“I think a lot of us are well equipped with experiencing these kinds of campaigns and the atmosphere that we’ll have,” he said.

“ think it’s going to be a very hostile environment for us, but it doesn’t change our game plan, our mentality and the way that we want to play.

“We believe we should be qualifying for this World Cup directly, and putting in a really good performance is another step towards that.”


Palestine v Subway Socceroos
Tuesday, 21 November
Jaber Al-Ahmed International Stadium, Kuwait
Kick-off: 5.00pm (local) / 1am AEDT (Wednesday, 22 November)
Broadcast: Network 10 and Paramount+