'Top level' recovery to boost Caltex Socceroos: Irvine
Caltex Socceroos midfielder Jackson Irvine believes home ground advantage and Australia’s ‘top level’ recovery regime has the side well placed to secure a spot at the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Australia are in a strong position after earning a hard-fought 0-0 draw in the first leg of their intercontinental play-off against Honduras in San Pedro Sula on Saturday (AEDT).
The Socceroos departed the Central American nation just hours after the game on a special chartered flight in a bid to kick-start their recovery procedures for the long trip back to Australia.
And with the players able to be treated on board, Irvine says Australia couldn’t be better prepared for the return leg.
“We’ve got amazing staff to help us with recovery for the ones that are going to have to play again on Wednesday,” Irvine told FFA TV.
“It’s unbelievable. This is top level. You can’t ask for anything more. It’s going to give us every chance for us to prepare as best we can.
“We’ve got three boys waiting for us back in Sydney as well.
“This puts you in the very best position you can possibly be to be ready come Wednesday night.”
The Socceroos will be boosted for the game in Sydney with the return of suspended duo Mat Leckie and Mark Milligan, while Robbie Kruse is also set to be available following injury.
And after dominating large periods of the clash in Honduras, Irvine is confident Australia’s depth and home crowd will prove decisive for the second leg.
“The boys put in a really good display and I think we were unfortunate not to come away with the win,” Irvine said.
“But it sets us up with a home advantage going into the game on Wednesday.
“I think the performance will give us great confidence going into the second leg.
“The boss said to us going out there ‘to go out there and give absolutely everything’.
“We knew it was going to be tough but we’ve got a strong squad and a lot of fresh legs.”