‘Un-ideal’ conditions and the Socceroos World Cup qualification campaign for Qatar have gone hand in hand thus far.
Having been been based in the Middle East due to Australia’s strict border regulations, the heat has been something Graham Arnold’s side have had to become accustom to in their homes away from home in Jordan and Qatar respectively.
After taking on China last Friday morning (AEST) in the state-of-the-art Khalifa International Stadium in Doha (which boasts air-conditioning to combat the searing heat), Australia will be met with a new-set of trying conditions for their clash with Vietnam on Tuesday night – the humidity.
By the time kick-off rolls around in Hanoi, temperatures are set to peak at 27 degrees and there is even a chance of thunderstorms.
Despite the trying conditions, the Socceroos boss said he won’t use the elements as an excuse as they seek to extend their historic winning run to ten successive games.
“You’re asking about the conditions, it is what it is,” Arnold said.
“You can only use that as excuses, I expect us every time no matter what that we go out on the pitch and play our way.”
“We will go out there tomorrow night and put a lot of pressure on Vietnam.”
Since arriving in Hanoi over the weekend, the trend of unfamiliar surroundings continued when they were met by some unexpected guests in their first training session on Sunday evening.
“We trained on a training pitch last night that brought some great experience, there were frogs on the pitch so that was great,” Arnold said.
“They (the frogs) were great, they cheered the boys up. An experience the boys hadn’t had before!”
Despite having an almost full-strength squad to choose from for Tuesday night’s contest, Arnold said he is unsure if in-form Martin Boyle will suit-up recover in-time from a tight hamstring.
Boyle continued his rich-vein of form in last Friday’s 3-0 win – scoring their second goal of the game and making it eight goals from ten competitive games at club and international level.
The Hibernian forward was seen clutching his hamstring in the second-half after sustaining a knock which forced him off the pitch.
Fears of a serious injury were allayed when it was confirmed as a precautionary measure but still remains in-doubt for their clash with the Golden Star Warriors.
“All the boys have pulled up great, only one that is uncertain at this moment is 50-50 is Martin Boyle,” Arnold told the media on Monday afternoon.
“We will train tonight, I will see how he is tonight and as I said at this moment he is 50-50… and we will see where he is at,
“In these type of World Cup qualifiers we need players out there that can walk on the pitch expecting to play 90 minutes and with a lot of energy so as I said – it’s important to me that all players are in that condition so we will make that decision after training tonight.”
Midfielder Aaron Mooy and forward Daniel Arzani are in the frame to take Boyle’s place in the side should he not recover in-time.