Qantas Socceroos captain Lucas Neill knows better than most that Green Falcons manager Frank Rijkaard will have his team well-drilled and ready to cause an upset at AAMI Park.
Qantas Socceroos captain Lucas Neill knows better than most that Green Falcons manager Frank Rijkaard will have his team well-drilled and ready to cause an upset at AAMI Park on February 29, but he also knows a little about the Saudi mentality and he believes when it comes down to it, this team may be a little fragile.
Neill along with Harry Kewell played under Rijkaard at Galatasaray in the Turkish Super Lig in 2010 so he knows the Saudi-s manager well, but playing in the UAE means he also knows what-s going on in the Gulf States when it comes to football.
With the UAE sharing a border with Saudi Arabia, news travels fast and Neill knows this Saudi side is under extreme pressure from their own media and people.
“Normally Frank Rijkaard is very relaxed and has a really good persona, he is a very knowledgeable guy in football,” Neill said.
“I have no doubt he has his team very well prepared and I know they got here early to have them acclimatised and well settled in.
“Having said that knowing the mentality of the Arabians, I know they will be really feeling the pressure and the expectations the country has on them to get to the next round, if they feel the pressure that will be something that will benefit Australia and we will expose.
“We want to get them thinking this might be the night that they fail, and then see they have let their country down and that they have been a disappointment in this campaign.”
While preparations for the Saudi game are the order of the day, Neill has to admit he has liked what he has seen of the A-League since he has been back home and refused to rule out ending his career here, noting that the game is growing and to play here at some stage has always been a goal.
“There is definitely a good momentum and the game is moving forward, that-s for sure. I-ve played football in many countries now and the passion is as fervent as anywhere in the world and the style is unique,” he said.
“There is a good opportunity for a footballer to put Australia in their CV and it-s something I have always kept an eye on and something that I-ve always wanted to do.”
As for the World Cup Qualifier Neill wants to see as many Socceroos fans there as possible and is excited to play for the first time at AAMI Park.
“Hopefully we will have a really good crowd at AAMI Park; I-ve trained there but have never played there before. I know we will be playing against a team who needs to win if they are going to make the World Cup and we are not going to make it easy for them.”
Have a comment to make on Lucas Neill-s thoughts on the game, then leave it below and we will publish it.
Nabbout's 'dream' debut draws closer
Andrew Nabbout is on the verge of fulfilling a football dream he's held his whole life. The pacy front-man's sensational season with the Newcastle Jets has resulted in not only a Caltex Socceroos call-up, but also a move to Japanese giants Urawa Red Diamonds. It's been a re
Leckie pleased with 'modern' Van Marwijk's Caltex Socceroos plans
Key winger Mathew Leckie has embraced the encouraging early evidence of new coach Bert van Marwijk's plans for the Caltex Socceroos. In his first camp in charge, Van Marwijk has laid the foundations for the upcoming FIFA World Cup campaign by urging the use of quick, crisp pas
Rukavytsya ready to relive 'unbelievable' World Cup experience
Caltex Socceroos striker Nikita Rukavytsya is hoping history repeats itself as he zeroes in on an unexpected FIFA World Cup berth. The 30-year-old flyer was a surprise recall for last year's do-or-die play-offs against Syria and Honduras having spent the previous four years in
Opponent Watch: Celtic starlet set to lock horns with Rogic
Tom Rogic's superb form could hit a grinding halt in Oslo if a Celtic team-mate has his way in the international friendly between the Caltex Socceroos and Norway. Elsewhere, Colombia are set to have some additional motivation for next week's match in London while a FIFA World