Australia coach: revenge against Jordan is for the movies, real life is about showing our strength
Socceroos boss Ange Postecoglou says they only need a draw to progress to the third stage of World Cup qualifying for Russia 2018, but they are keen to finish on a high
Australia coach Ange Postecoglou has dismissed revenge as a motivation for the Asian champions in Tuesday’s crunch World Cup qualifier against Harry Redknapp’s Jordan.
After thrashing Tajikistan 7-0 on Thursday, the Socceroos need only a draw from their final group B fixture to progress to the third stage of Asian qualifiying, from which four countries will secure tickets to Russia in 2018.
The Jordanians, who trail Australia by two points, inflicted the only defeat of the campaign so far on Australia with a 2-0 win in Amman last October.
Postecoglou has previously said avenging that defeat would be a spur at the Sydney Football Stadium, but a grumpy Australia coach performed an about-turn on Monday.
“It’s not about revenge, it’s about finishing strongly,” he said at the team hotel.
“If we win tomorrow night, it’s not going to erase what happened in Jordan, that’s not the way football works.
“Revenge is best left to the movies, mate, this is real life. We just want to finish this group off strongly, I think we’ve got stronger throughout this group and we want to finish it off tomorrow night.”
Postecoglou has fitness concerns about his captain Mile Jedinak, who did not train with the team at the weekend because of a thigh injury, and said he would not “risk him unnecessarily”.
With everyone else in the squad “in good nick”, other changes to his team from the Tajikistan match would be about form and the kind of match he wanted to play.
Most important of all, though, was a good performance to improve his mood.
“I’ll let other people worry about points and top of the table and seeds, because if we have a scrappy performance tomorrow night and finish on top, that’s not going to make me happy,” he said.
“We want to keep progressing our football. A win and top of the group will hopefully be a by-product of us playing good football.
“It’s all about the performance, it always is about the performance for us.”
Postecoglou, however, thought that whatever line-up he put out, they would be able to break down the sometimes negative Jordanians.
“We’ll back ourselves against any defence,” he said.
“If Jordan sit back, it’ll make it harder for us but nothing we haven’t faced before, nothing we haven’t overcome before.”
Former Tottenham Hotspur coach Redknapp’s cameo appearance for Tuesday’s match has added an interesting twist to the clash but Postecoglou did not think it would make much difference.
“I don’t think we’ll see anything remarkably different, he’s only had a few days with them,” he said.