Former Socceroos coach Pim Verbeek has praised the job current boss Ange Postecoglou is doing with the national team.
Verbeek, who was at the helm of the Socceroos from 2007 right through until after the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, backed Postecoglou for having a clear plan in place and sticking to it.
“I think Ange is doing a good job,” Verbeek said in a column for the AFC Asian Cup website.
“I know the results haven’t been great, but sometimes this is what happens when you make the decision to regenerate the team and the only way to give new players the experience they need is to give them a go.
“I was at the game against Belgium in Liege in September and for the first 25 minutes they played well against a very good team; that was a great test and they should take some confidence from that and some of their other performances.
“Ange has a great relationship with the media and most importantly the support of the federation. He clearly has a plan that he’s working towards and everyone is backing that.”
Verbeek was impressed by the way the inexperienced Socceroos squad performed at the World Cup in Brazil but believes the side now “has to deliver” in next year’s Asian Cup on home soil.
For his part, Postecoglou was less complimentary about his predecessors this week.
"There's a reason previous coaches didn't do what I'm doing. Because they kind of knew this was going to happen and wanted to avoid it," he told Fox Sports . "I'm not going to avoid it.
"I go back to why I was initially appointed. It's not just about me. The organisation (Football Federation Australia) needed us to regenerate and change the style of football. I'm going to fulfil that mission as long I'm in charge."
Verbeek added there would be huge pressure on Australia at the Asian Cup, but he held some hope.
“In Tim Cahill they have a player who remains truly world class and who still scores great goals while Mile Jedinak has become very important to them, too.
“I’m sure the Socceroos will do well, but much will depend on just how much time Ange has with his players in the run-up to what is such an important tournament for Australian football.”
The Socceroos begin their Asian Cup tilt on January 9 in Melbourne with a clash against Kuwait before further group games against Oman in Sydney and Korea Republic in Brisbane.