Socceroos 'are ready'
Australia's opening World Cup match against Chile "is all about the players... and they're ready", says upbeat coach Ange Postecoglou.PT0M51S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-3a2y1 620 349 June 13, 2014
Vitoria: Chile coach Jorge Sampaoli is predicting a tough encounter against an Australian side whose game plan and style, he says, has evolved dramatically in a short time under new coach Ange Postecoglou.
''The previous coach and previous players, they were physical.....the present coach has trained them differently, its an enormous evolution for Australian football,'' Sampaoli said at a press conference in Cuiaba 24 hours before Australia meets the South Americans in both nation's opening World Cup game.
Jorge Valdivia, Chile's stylish playmaker, believes that despite Australia's lowly ranking this will be no gimme for his team, even though most pundits have them as favourites. That puts the pressure on the Chileans to get off to a flying start as they then have The Netherlands and Spain to face in their final two matches, he said.
Expecting a tough game: Chile's head coach Jorge Sampaoli. Photo: AP
''Its almost a final for us. Many have come from Chile for this game, we really have a final tomorrow. I think its a difficult game for us, they do not have that pressure that we must face, the nervousness and pressure, they don't have that,'' Valdivia said.
Sampaio is expecting Australia to sit back and soak up Chile's pressure game.
''I believe Australia will wait for us and start the counter (attack). Its why we need versatile players. I think their potential (strength) is their transition. They make short runs, Mark Bresciano, with his experience, is going to control the development of the team.
''Australia has changed the way they play, but we may find a weakness and we will put pressure on Australia to induce mistakes,'' the coach said.
*Sampaio says he will give key man Arturo Vidal every chance to prove his fitness for the fixture but he is confident he could take some part.
''If I need him I will be able to field him,'' he said of the Juventus midfielder. ''The diagnosis (following his knee surgery) is clear, and he is up to normal levels (of fitness). The next is the footballing phase. We believe he may not have the same rhythm as the rest (having missed so many training sessions) but we should not forget his position. He is extremely important.''