Degenek backs upbeat Socceroos to improve against Palestine

Milos Degenek believes the opening game defeat to Jordan has allowed the Socceroos to sharpen their focus for what’s ahead in the rest of the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019™.

The squad have analysed the Jordan game thoroughly and are now fully focused on getting things back on track in Friday night’s (AEDT) clash with Palestine in Dubai.

“We’ve got three days to work on things and we are going to work, we are going to improve and be prepared for the next game which is very important for us,” Degenek told

“We want to go out there and show what we can do and put a good foot forward into going out of the group.”

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Asked the message from coach Graham Arnold following the Jordan game, Degenek said: “To look at the positives, switch on and look forward to the next game.

“Just to forget this as quickly as possible, learn from it and move on.

“Obviously we take all the positives out of the game, implement other things into the next game and start the game strong, and show what we’re all about.”

And Degenek is thriving showing what he’s all about as a starter at a major international tournament.

The 24-year-old defender was part of the Australian squad that went to last year’s FIFA World Cup in Russia but didn’t play a minute during the three group stage matches.

But after moving to Serbian club Red Star Belgrade in the off-season, Degenek has enjoyed a stunning period and played UEFA Champions League football against the likes of Liverpool and PSG.

Degenek in action against Mohamed Salah of Liverpool

It’s meant he has arrived in the UAE at the peak of his game and allowed him to start against Jordan and play his first minutes at a major tournament.

“It’s obviously massive for me. I was at the World Cup with the boys but I didn’t get to play but I was there and I was part of the family which I was very proud of,” Degenek said.

“I’m very fortunate to get the chance to play for my country at an Asian Cup.”

(Feature image courtesy of the Asian Football Confederation,