Socceroos aiming to win: Hiddink
Socceroos head coach Guus Hiddink indicated that his team will be focused on playing good attacking football against Croatia and won't let any emotional aspects, such as, past friendships and heritage, creep into the match.
Socceroos head coach Guus Hiddink indicated that the Australian team will be focused on playing good attacking football against Croatia and won't let any emotional aspects, such as, past friendships and heritage, creep into the match.
Given that Australia needs only a draw to go through to the next round, as it's unlikely that Japan will beat Brazil by a huge margin, if at all, some are suggesting that Australia will go defensive in tactics to hold out for the draw.
But Hiddink defied the claims, saying that's not the way Australia play the game.
"It's impossible to be a director of a draw," Hiddink said at the Aussie's official press conference ahead of the match against Croatia.
"It's impossible to say, especially to this team, who like to go and attack, 'Hey guys, let's sit back and go for a 0-0 draw'.
"It's opposing the character of this team, it-s against everything the Socceroos stand for. This team is going to try to win, against a highly profiled opponent."
Hiddink also said that most of the pressure would actually be on Croatia to achieve a win after a poor performance against Japan, which ultimately put Australia in the box seat in this clash, with only a draw required.
"They should have won, they had the dominance in that game," Hiddink said of the Croatia's drawn game against Japan, played in over 30 degree temperatures.
"They missed a penalty, they hit the crossbar, so they were not having that luck that you can normally push a little bit. I have seen them play against Brazil and how they played in that game. That was very good."
The 'super coach' understands there are emotional aspects of the match, with as many as seven players of the Australian squad with some form of Croatian heritage, and three of the Croatian squad born in Australia, but doesn't think it will have an impact in the game.
“I think it will not have that big an influence on the team," said Hiddink
"Players know how to control themselves and not go over the edge to get a result, because that would be counter-productive."
When asked what he especially liked about this Australian team and why they would get through to the second round, he was very quick to praise the entire squad.
"The team has showed has shown there is a lot of ambition to make the dream come true to go into the second round. The boys are so committed."
"It-s a big surprise to me that the team is coping very well with the flexibility of systems, because normally a lot of people are thinking in a very rigid way of approaching of tactics.
"When you see nowadays the flexibility of the play and this team has shown to me that they can adapt themselves rather easily tactically and make the measurements to make the opponents under control.
"We are not thinking of the end is near. It will be an exciting game, I think we can promise.
"Why should we say good goodbye after this game, lets have some more of these press conferences."
Aussies Abroad: Milligan triumphs in battle of the Aussies, Jeggo suffers defeat in Austria
There were two Caltex Socceroos in action across Europe on Saturday morning (AEDT) as Mark Milligan and Jimmy Jeggo stepped out for Hibernian and Austria Vienna respectively.... Milligan played the full 90 in Scotland as Hibs overcame Dundee in a 4-2 thriller at Dens Park. AUS
Aussies Abroad: Vukovic injured as Genk exit Europa League
It wasn’t a happy night in the UEFA Europa League for Danny Vukovic as he was stretched off in Genk’s 4-1 loss to Slavia Prague on Friday morning (AEDT). AUSSIES ABROAD: Vukovic features in top-two battle NEW DEAL: In-form Vukovic rewarded with contract extension Still sco
When to watch your Caltex Socceroos this weekend
There's plenty for Caltex Socceroos fans to sink their teeth into this weekend with our homegrown heroes gearing up for some massive matches. Mathew Leckie attempts to slay a giant in Germany, two Aussies set aside national team loyalties in Denmark and Aaron Mooy goes on the
In-form Vukovic earns Genk contract extension
Caltex Socceroos goalkeeper Danny Vukovic has been rewarded for his excellent form with a two-season contract extension at Belgian club KRC Genk. The 33-year-old's deal was due to expire at the end of the campaign but the Pro League leaders have taken up their option to extend