Neill wary of a scorned Brazil

Qantas Socceroo defender Lucas Neill is wary of the backlash Brazil has received in the wake of Tuesday's clash with Croatia despite winning the match 1-0.

Qantas Socceroo defender Lucas Neill is wary of the backlash Brazil has received in the wake of Tuesday's clash with Croatia despite winning the match 1-0.

Neill is likely to be one of the busiest men on the ground when he does battle with the star-studded Brazilian attack.

Brazil was roundly criticised for its performance against a very good Croatian team that outplayed the South Americans for much of the second half, although it was a fine goal from Kaka in the first half that separated the two teams.

"There are a few positives to come out of it," said Neill.

"But there is also the fear that Brazil hasn-t warmed up or started the way they would like to do.

"They are a team that can easily start to cook and we have just got to make sure we don-t let them boil in the game against us.

"They didn-t really turn on the samba style the other night, so we-ve got to fear the backlash, but we have all got the attitude that we are not going to let that happen."

Neill was widely regarded as Australia-s best against the Japanese for an outstanding job in marshalling the defence and is confident Australia can give Brazil a real run for their money.

"I-m confident that we can give them a game, whether we can overcome them is going to come down to a little bit of luck and just making sure we can stick the game plan."

"It-s going to be a great game and we have put ourselves in a position after the first game where if we were to lose it-s still in our hands. As, probably, the third or fourth favourite, (in Group F) that-s a great position to be in.

"But we are also of the feeling now, why don-t we pull ourselves over the line now and where the result (in the last game) might determine whether we finish first or second. This would be a fantastic position to be in."

It-s this time last year that Australia-s defence came under serious scrutiny after conceding ten goals in three games and walked away from the Confederations Cup without a win and costing Frank Farina his job.

However the arrival of Guus Hiddink has seen Neill make a shift in his role and so far he has excelled in his more central role. As a result, Australia has leaked far less goals.

Sunday, though, is a different proposition to what they have faced since Hiddink-s arrival and Lucas has no doubts he will have a fair bit to do in defence.

"I think we are going to have a busy night on Sunday and we have to be really, really equipped for it.

"The team is confident," confided Neill.

"I think, as a team, we are going to have to defend against 10 outfield players that are fantastically gifted and it-s going to be about personal battles; each individual is going to have to get the better of their man and, hopefully, collectively, that-s going to be enough to an amazing result against the world champions.

"There is no pressure on us because everyone expects Brazil to win, but why not believe we can get something."

One player Neill might have to watch is former world footballer of the year Ronaldo, who was substituted and criticised for being fat and unfit in the match against Croatia. Neill acknowledged that while not in the best form, he is still a special player.

"For years he has been one of the most popular names in football and with him and his buddy ‘inho- (Ronaldinho) on the end of it, you can-t get a second's peace.

"I am not going to comment on his performance (against Croatia), but it's obviously not the Ronaldo we are all used to seeing. We are used to seeing him banging in goals left, right and centre and it-s up to us to make sure he has another quiet game."

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