Australia will have to overcome the odds if they are to qualify from a Group C at the FIFA World Cup™.
Fortunately for the Caltex Socceroos, midfield lynchpin Aaron Mooy is well-versed in accomplishing the unlikely.
The 27-year-old was an irreplaceable part of Huddersfield Town’s remarkable English Premier League survival story last season, and says Australia could do worse than take a leaf out of his club’s successful approach as they prepare to take on European heavyweights France on Saturday evening.
“At Huddersfield we were never in a rush when we played the big teams,” Mooy told The Herald Sun.
“The more time they’ve got with the ball, the more chances they’ll create. It’s totally different to last year in the Championship. I learned a lot.”
“We were never expected to win or get a point against them, just take your time and it upsets their rhythm a bit.”
On paper, the Caltex Socceroos are expected to have their backs against the wall against a France squad oozing with elite European quality.
However, it’s a situation that Mooy learned to overcome during his travails for the Terriers’ in their odds-defying Premier League campaign.
“There was lots of game like that for Huddersfield this season. It’s really tough, you don’t have the ball much, you’ve got to stay in the game, try and create some chances.
“You might not out-possess them, but when we get a chance we’d score. Game management is very important. Realising the situation of a match.
“It was another amazing season for the club, no one expected us to stay up and we proved everyone wrong. It was very special.
“There’s teams with a lot more quality than us but we have to show that passion and fight, maybe more than the other teams. You need that when you don’t have as much quality as other teams.”
If Bert van Marwijk’s side are to progress past the group stage for the first time since 2006, Huddersfield’s giant-killing mentality will hold Australia in good stead.
But more importantly, if the Caltex Socceroos can strike a marriage between the valiance of David Wagner’s men and the traditional battler’s spirit of the Australian side, Mooy says there is every chance Australia can provide a tournament shock.
“We’ve got to believe we can," Mooy said.
“It’s obviously a strong group but anything can happen, we’ve seen many times people and teams prove pundits wrong.
“Anything’s possible in football, if we play to our very best every game, I feel we’ve got a great chance.”
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