Asian Cup: Fox Football expert Daniel Garb suggests injuries and form are likely to see a handful of changes made to the Socceroos side that will be selected to face Palestine on Friday.
Graham Arnold is expecting a better peformance from the Socceroos.Source:Getty Images
The Socceroos won’t change their game plan against Palestine, insisting there’s no reason to panic in the face of another plucky counter-attacking minnow.
Graham Arnold and his coaching staff have conducted an in-depth dissection of what went wrong in the Jordan loss, in a bid to address the depleted team’s issues in time for Friday’s critical contest at Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum Stadium.
Palestine picked up their first-ever Asian Cup point on Sunday, holding Syria to a scoreless draw despite going down to 10 men,
But, despite their similar tactical set-up and the high stakes nature of the contest, the Socceroos will back themselves to be sharper going forward.
“If you look at all the top teams in the world, they don’t suddenly go and change, because that won’t get you anywhere,” assistant coach Rene Muelensteen said.
“That’s what players need to understand at this high level with those challenges, they need to be absolutely at their very best up here (in their heads) in their decision-making and in their passes.
“We’ve got plenty of good moments to show in the second half where we were that close … what we have learned for sure is that those teams are going to throw us a challenge because they are not coming out to play any expansive football.
“They’re going to drop back, they’re going to defend. They will try to first neutralise the attacking strengths that we have and on occasions try to counter-attack and maybe get something.
“That is exactly what happened with Jordan. They scored and then got something to hold onto, and then for us it becomes even a bigger mountain to climb.”
Rhyan Grant, who could well start at right-back if incumbent Josh Risdon is ruled out with a groin issue as expected, was up for the challenge.
“They might sit back like Jordan did and make it hard for us, but it’s up to us to break them down and make sure we’re scoring goals,” Grant said.
“We’ve got a few days now to really knuckle down on the training pitch and see how we can do that.
“I’m sure Arnie and the coaching staff have a good game plan coming up that we have to pull off.”