Socceroos fullback Aziz Behich has called on the squad to “be ready for anything” ahead of the team’s final two group matches.
Australia has two more matches against Palestine and Syria before the knockout stages begin and while the expectation is for Australia to defeat both opponents comfortably, injuries to key players will see the squad’s depth tested.
In light of this Behich has sent a message to his teammates who did not feature in the opening loss to Jordan, highlighting the significance of being prepared for any situation.
“For the players who didn’t play this is a big opportunity for them,” Behich said.
“Anyone could be called upon at any time,
“It’s important for the team to work hard because every player is going to be needed,
“You never know what’s going to happen, especially at a tournament.”
Heading into the second group game against Palestine a big part of the preparation has been analysing the positives from the previous game in addition to improving.
The loss came to the surprise of many and despite missing key players due to injury, the squad received heavy scrutiny in Australia for their performance.
While Behich agrees the performance was not the team’s standards he believes the loss should not be dwelled upon, especially when the team has a chance to rectify themselves against Palestine.
“It’s all about recovery and clearing the mind now heading into the next game,” Behich said.
“It was our first game so we can take a lot from it,
“We started slowly and our build up wasn’t to our standards which played into their hands,
“We were solid especially at the back end of the game when we ran over them,
“We started moving quicker as the game went on so we’ll be analysing how we can improve that for the Palestine game.”
Australia has never met the 99th ranked Palestine in an International tournament.