Irvine reflects on the 'decisions and details' following Quarter Final against Korea Republic
After being knocked out of the Asian Cup by Korea Republic in extra time, midfielder Jackson Irvine discussed the disappointment felt within the squad.
He said it is tough to put into words how the team feels at this stage but reminded the squad that the environment they have built as a unit is what the Socceroos is all about.
“It's the fine margins that can decide football at this level, decision making and quality from opponents, it’s all about the details,”
“I thought we played a really, really strong game overall, created chances, defended our box. We did all those things that we've done in big tournaments and big games before and it's 30 seconds from a Semi-Final, so to be on the plane home now is, yeah, it's devastating.”
He did speak on missed chances in the match as he agreed that Australia could have been another goal or two in front if key opportunities turned into goals.
“We've got two or three chances to make it two or three nil, when you don't manage to find that goal, it's about defending the box, as we've done so many times in big games in the past, and we've done so well, and we did it well, again tonight,” he said.
“It's tough to reflect on, you look at what could you have done differently, but overall, I'm proud of the way the players approached the game, the mentality going into it, I thought we did a lot of things, well did a lot of things right."
“But at the end of the day, we're on the plane home after a Quarter Final and that's not where we want it to be.”
Looking ahead, he added that this tournament, and the way they have been knocked out, will provide plenty of learning opportunities for the team.
“For us moving forward, we're going to get tested more and more, we're going to have to show more and more quality to win games,” he said.
“It's just lessons to be learned, I guess it's for younger guys, it's their first experience of a major tournament, and this feeling of disappointment."
“Unfortunately, for some of us, who were here five years ago, with a very similar feeling, so what the future holds will be trying to learn those lessons and push them into the World Cup qualifying campaign.”
And he finished by ramming home the importance of a squad identity, one that has been emphasised throughout this tournament.
“It's tough to obviously put it into words just now and try to make sense of it all but I said to the players after the game, it doesn't matter what happens individually,” he said.
“The culture of this team environment that we've created the way that we are, that is what the Socceroos is.”