The Caltex Socceroos are raring to go ahead of Tuesday morning’s (AEDT) friendly against Kuwait, with assistant coach Rene Meulensteen opening up on the mindset in camp.
The clash at the Al Kuwait Sports Club signals the start of a new era in Australian football, with Graham Arnold less than 48 hours away from the first match of his second stint in charge of the men's national team.
And Meulensteen said fans should expect to see plenty of attacking intent from the Caltex Socceroos in the first of three important friendlies before the 2019 AFC Asian Cup.
“We all are very keen to make a statement. I’m sure the players are,” he said.
Australia have not played since bowing out of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, a decision designed to give Arnold time to implement his new ideas and philosophies.
A September training camp in Turkey was followed by another set of sessions in the United Arab Emirates over the past week and Meulensteen has been impressed with what he has seen.
“We have had some really good training camps, obviously before in Turkey (in September) and now here again,” he said.
“We have chosen to work a little bit more with the players than normal.
“I think we needed that time to work with them and now I think the players have got a really good idea of what we expect from them.
“I think they are very keen to get going on Monday night (local time).”
The Caltex Socceroos squad travelled from the United Arab Emirates to Kuwait on Saturday (local time), before taking part in a light training session at the Al Nasr Stadium.
Meulensteen said there were subtle differences in conditions between the two nations, meaning the hit-out was very beneficial.
“After travel you always have to be a little bit careful that you don’t go over the top (in training), because travel, no matter how short or how long, always takes a little bit out of the players,” he said.
“The grass is slightly different, the pitch is a bit heavier, a bit spongier, so it is good for the players to experience that (in Kuwait) and to get the legs going and get the blood pumping.”
Another session will follow in Kuwait on Sunday (local time), with Meulensteen revealing the focus will be on tactics and mindset as kick-off approaches.
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