Experienced defender Clare Polkinghorne is confident there will be no complacency from the hungry Westfield Matildas as they chase AFC Women’s Asian Cup glory.
As the highest-ranked team in Asia (sixth in the world), Alen Stajcic’s side will start warm favourites for the tournament in Jordan next month.
As well as securing some more silverware, the tournament also doubles as qualifiers for next year’s FIFA World Cup, with the top five nations at the Asian Cup to book their ticket to France.
With so much at stake, Polkinghorne says the Westfield Matildas will have to be at their best to get through a group that includes Korea Republic, Japan and Vietnam.
“We’re expecting three very tough games in our group and we got a tough group,” the 29-year-old told https://matildas.footballaustralia.com.au/.
“Our focus is on South Korea and they are a very big threat for us. We have to make sure we are playing our very best football from game one in the tournament.
“There’s no room for complacency or slow starts. World Cup qualification is on the line.
“We’re expecting a style of play [from Korea] that’s very technical and sharp and they have got some world-class players, especially in their midfield.
“No game is going to be easy for us and we know that.”
After finishing fourth at the recent Algarve Cup in Portugal, the Westfield Matildas have fine-tuned their Asian Cup tilt with a training camp in Perth.
They demonstrated their intent by thrashing Thailand 5-0 at nib Stadium on Monday night and Polkinghorne feels they are on the right track to win a second Asian Cup title in eight years.
“Any time you go into a tournament you want to win it. That’s no different for us,” the Brisbane Roar Westfield W-League star said.
“The last time we won it was in 2010 which was a fairly long time ago. We also know what it’s like to fall just short and I think this time around everyone’s got the clear goal of wanting to win.
“But we know in order to win we have to play our best football and that’s the focus, making sure we play the way we want to play.
“If we do that then we give ourselves the best opportunity.”