On the eve of an Asian Cup final clash with South Korea, Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou said his team is fully prepared to handle the occasion of one of Australian football’s biggest nights.
The Socceroos will go into the match as favourites, and will play in front of an expectant crowd in a sold-out Sydney Olympic stadium against the only team to have beaten them in the tournament so far.
While Postecoglou acknowledged nerves could play a part in a such a crucial match, he remained confident his young squad would stand up to the pressure.
“The group has been very, very good. There has been nothing that I have seen that suggests to me that the occasion will get to anyone tomorrow,” Postecoglou said.
“I can’t speak more highly of their professionalism over this last month.
“The players, every single minute of the day, have been really good at making sure that every one of them and their team-mates are doing the right things.
“It’s a big game, it’s a big day, there’s always that possibility but I’ve got a great deal of faith in this group of players to perform the task tomorrow.”
Australia’s only injury worry is Ivan Franjic, who complained of hip and groin soreness towards the end of the semi-final against UAE, but Postecoglou said the right-back would be given every chance to prove his fitness.
“In terms of Ivan, he’ll train today. If he gets through training today, he’s available,” Postecoglou said.
“We’re obviously going to have a session now and, as I said, he is put down for training. If he trains, he will play.”
Jedinak desperate for silverware
Australian captain Mile Jedinak said the match has the potential to be the high point of his career, and believes the tournament has been a huge success for football in Australia.