Verbeek hails professionalism of players and staff

Qantas Socceroos coach Pim Verbeek has once again hailed the professionalism of his players and staff in qualifying for its second successive FIFA World Cup finals appearance.

Qantas Socceroos coach Pim Verbeek has once again hailed the professionalism of his players and staff in qualifying for its second successive FIFA World Cup finals appearance.

Australia qualified for the 2010 FIFA World Cup finals in South Africa, after a 0-0 draw with Qatar in Doha on Sunday morning (AEST) to go through with two games to spare, along with Japan from Group A.

“I think we are all very pleased with qualification with two games to spare,” Verbeek said after the Qantas Socceroos arrived back in Sydney, aboard its specially chartered Qantas flight from Dubai.

“The players did a fantastic job and it was definitely not an easy qualification (process). They were very professional and did a great job, not only the first eleven but all the boys involved, the coaching staff and the backroom staff.

“These are not easy trips and the people that were there in the last week know how difficult it is, so a big compliment to all of them, they all did very well.”

Verbeek will be urging his players to celebrate their qualification by putting on a good performance for the Australian fans in its next two games against Bahrain and Japan, who he believes should come out and thank the players for their fantastic efforts over the past 18 months.

“I hope we are ready for two celebrations games on the next two Wednesday-s. I am sure the boys will do everything to be fit for that game (on Wednesday-s against Bahrain) to show the fans that we deserve to go to the World Cup.

“In terms of a celebration game, it means the fans can celebrate that we are there.

“We have to win the game; we are going to win the game, we want to win the game and we want to show that we are No.1 team in this group and the fans that we have a good team.

“They know that already, but we want to show it again.”

Verbeek will aim to put the best possible team on the park against Bahrain, but he will already be missing several players through suspension, injury and club commitments.

“Of course, but I will find out who is fit; who-s ready after this long trip back.

“We-ll probably have to wait till tomorrow after the last training session to see who is available.

“Carl Valeri is already back in Italy, because they (Grosseto) had to play in a promotion game for the Serie A; Scott Chipperfield is struggling with a foot injury, so we let him go and Mark Bresciano is not here due a logistic problem flying back with his family and so he will not be there also on Wednesday.

“All other 23 players are ready to play now, as far as I know and I-ll wait to see who is fit to play 90 minutes after tomorrow-s training session.”

The Dutchmen, who was an assistant at the two previous World Cup finals with Korea Republic, has reiterated his earlier comments after the match that in South Africa, the aim will be to do better than 2006.

Australia took the world by storm in Germany by reaching the second round, where they were just seconds away from forcing eventual winners Italy into extra time of their Round of 16 clash in Kaiserslautern.

“That-s we are going to try and prove in 2010,” said in a frank voice.

“If you go to a World Cup and let-s say okay, we-ll go there and win one game and we are happy then everybody will be laughing at you.

“I think we all have the same target and it-s to do it better than in 2006; I don-t say we are going to do it better, but that-s the target, to do everything in our capacity to have better results than the last time.

“It will be a tough challenge of course, but this was a tough challenge also and we survived and I think the boys will be ready.”