The Socceroos boss Ange Postecoglou was joined by his captain Mile Jedinak and also by a very good presser crowd from Australian media to a large contingent of Japanese media too.
Ange started the press conference acknowledging that this is a big game in its entirety and believes it dates back to the 2006 World Cup and it has grown since Australia joined the AFC. Ange also is of the view that this game and what is riding on it will produce a high quality game from the hosts and the visitors and also expects a big crowd in Melbourne.
Mile Jedinak was happy after two difficult away trips to the Middle East to be back home but immediately stated that, there’s “business to attend to”. Jedinak echoed his coach on the view that in the past decade the rivalry with Japan has been strong.
Postecoglou believes this game will present “a different challenge” and more than anything else his team “have to be up for every game”, and “every point is precious”. Socceroos boss reiterated that Australia and Japan are the powerhouses of this confederation and he “wouldn’t want us to slip up”.
The Socceroos returned from the UAE with one point and Ange was asked considering his start are the Socceroos edging even closer to Russia to which he responded, “its not decided tomorrow”. Even though the Socceroos sit top of Group B on goal differential behind Saudi Arabia, Ange believes the other “four teams started strong” and we are still “very early in the process”.
The Socceroos come back home after a physically demanding strips to the Middle East and Ange is happy that his players have pulled up un-harmed.
“Players recovered pretty well,” and music to the fans’ ears, “everyone is training and I have a full list to choose from”.
Ange will however make “a couple of changes”.
Ange believes the A-League is growing just as strong as the J-League but is not at the same level as Japanese Football in terms of young player recruitments.
Postecoglou however, admits at a national level the Japanese compete very well but at international level we to compete just as well, almost even better.
“There’s mutual respect there and admiration,” Ange said.
Socceroos boss believes, “You’ll see a high quality game”.
It’s not Socceroos news if Tim Cahill is not mentioned as a journalist stated the record Cahill has against Japan but the boss was quick to mention, “Timmy has a great record against all the teams” and also that the high-flyer is still lacking match fitness as the A-League only just started however, “Tim has put his hand up to start”.
A strange question came up regarding if Australia held a mental advantage in these matches against Japan but oddly enough, thanks to Simon Hill, Australia had not beaten Japan in seven years.
To comment on that Ange said, “far from dominant,” and between these two opponents there have been a lot draws and tight fixtures. Therefore the Socceroos need to “impose” their dominance.
Mile Jedinak is of the view that “sticking” to the game plan is key to win tis fixture as there is never a script written for matches like these.
The Socceroos captain was asked if he’d like to “stick it to the Japanese” to which he responded,
“Yeah I’d like to”.
Lastly the Socceroos boss was asked who was the key player for the visitors but Ange said, “we analyse the team as a whole” even though Japan are home to stars in their line up who play in big teams across the world but Ange reinstated the fact that they too have domestic players who a still a huge threat that come up from the quality of the J-League.