Socceroos boss Ange Postecoglou has dismissed any notion of sacrificing Australia’s World Cup campaign ahead of the Asian Cup next January.
Celebrating one year until Australia hosts the Asian Cup for the first time, Postecoglou was adamant on Thursday that Australia’s daunting draw for this year’s World Cup in Brazil doesn’t mean he should throw in the towel and focus more on developing his squad for the Asian Cup.
Celebrating one year until Australia host the Cup for the first time, Postecoglou was adamant Australia’s challenging draw in Brazil didn’t mean he should throw in the towel.
“This could be my only shot at a World Cup. I’m not going to give it away for anything and I don’t think we should as a nation,” said Postecoglou.
“If we want to do well in the Asian Cup then we need a strong World Cup to build a foundation and give our players the right kind of experience.”
Australia’s preparations for the Brazil tournament received a boost this week when Mark Bresciano was cleared by the Court of Arbitration for Sport to play competitive football from March following a transfer irregularity.
While Postecoglou welcomed the ruling, he refused to assure a spot on the plane for the veteran midfielder in line with his “no guarantees” policy.
“From my perspective, at least I know he’s available,” he said.
“That’s all I’ve asked of all the players, (that) they’re fit, they’re playing well and they’re available.
“No one’s ruled out, no one’s ruled in.”
That message was heard loud and clear by Socceroos captain Lucas Neill, who is increasing his efforts to find a new club before the tournament.
Australia has the most challenging draw of any nation for June’s World Cup, drawing 2010 finalists Spain and Netherlands, along with South American power Chile.