Kalac and Skoko keen to play
Goalkeeper Zeljko Kalac believes Croatia’s failure to score in its opening two games against Brazil and Japan could play on their players minds going into the match against Australia on Thursday night.
Goalkeeper Zeljko Kalac believes Croatia-s failure to score in its opening two games against Brazil and Japan could play on their players minds going into the match against Australia on Thursday night.
Despite creating numerous opportunities in front of goal, Croatia has yet to trouble the goal scorer stats at the World Cup finals and the lanky keeper they call ‘Spider- hopes that trend continues on Thursday.
"Maybe, they probably have a little bit in their heads on why the ball won-t go in for them," said Kalac. "Also how we are going to get over the top of these Australians who run all day and work all day."
"So probably, a mental edge is always good to have."
"They are a very good side and it-s normal that they are going to create a lot of chances."
"Let-s hope they don-t create much and they don-t score. Let-s just hope the balls in our court."
Kalac, who is of Croatian decent, is also hopeful that he might get the call up to play in a game that would obviously be special for him.
"I know you keep saying that our background is Croatian and it-s a special match, but remember if we win we are going to disappoint a lot of our families back in Croatia, but that doesn-t disappoint me that much," he said with a laugh.
"I play for Australia."
"I am still hopeful," Kalac said, when asked if he was frustrated at not getting a start. "There is still one more match in the group stage and you never know what can happen in football."
"I have trained hard and keeping myself fit and keeping myself ready."
"This guy (Guus Hiddink), I-m not saying I am not playing on Thursday, because anything can happen with this guy, he just might turn around and think that certain players can make a difference and throws them in."
Josip Skoko is another player keen to get some game time, the experienced midfielder frustrated that he has not played any part so far.
As another of the Australian players with Croatian heritage, Skoko feels his form in the lead up games was good enough to earn him some game time and would dearly love to in the match on Thursday, given he has played with a number of players in the Croatian side.
"I-m just very disappointed, obviously like anybody would be," he said on getting any game time in the opening two games. "Obviously I would love to get some time out there."
"I think I deserve a go; I think I played well in the games leading up and I think I have done enough to get a little run, so its been disappointing in that sense."
Meanwhile Marco Bresciano has reaffirmed that Australia will be going out to win on Thursday and not try and hold for a draw, which is all they need to advance to the second phase.
"That-s the attitude we are going to have," when he was asked if going for the win was important. "Playing to hold off a result is probably the worst thing you can do, because eventually on 90 minutes you might concede a goal."
"So we have got to go out there and obviously try and win the game."
The Parma midfielder, who was denied a goal by Dida in the match against Brazil, also had a special message for the fans.
"Thanks so much for the support. I mean it-s been great, so far away from home and I didn-t know there were so many Australians in the world. It-s good to see."