Caltex Socceroos wingback Brad Smith has conceded his display against Japan wasn’t up to the standard he expects of himself – and the English Premier League player is looking to Thailand on Tuesday as a chance to reassert his qualities.
The Australians must win next Tuesday night – and ideally by an avalanche of goals – to put the pressure back on Saudi Arabia who face Japan in Jeddah a few hours after the clash in Melbourne.
With the Japan loss still fresh in mind, the left wingback didn’t pick up a runner and that contributed to Japan’s first goal in their 2-0 win on Thursday night.
“I didn’t think I was up to scratch on the day,” he told reporters when quizzed on his display shortly after landing in Melbourne.
“But it’s a team game and we’ll review the game and see where we did go wrong, and build on that and hopefully produce the performance we need."
GOALS WILL FLOW
“I’m very confident. All the boys are confident. We’ve got to be positive and we can definitely get the job done,” he said of the crunch clash with Thailand.
“That’s the formation we believe will take us far,” he said of the 3-4-3 in which he plays as a left wingback.
Smith added fellow EPL player and star playmaker Aaron Mooy was feeling much better and was in high spirits after he was taken ill on game day in Japan.
Mooy's return will surely be one of the sparks needed for Australia to fire up in front of goal.
REGULAR FOOTBALL NEEDED
Smith has been a peripheral figure at his EPL club Bournemouth. And he hinted at a potential loan move in the next window in January away from Eddie Howe's Cherries. Something that is vitally important in a World Cup year.
“Obviously it’s difficult not playing but I have to stay and fight for my place.
“This year is a big year for me to get as much game time as I can. If not we’ll discuss it in January and see what happens there."