Stajcic: high-flying Westfield Matildas wary of negating tactics
Alen Stajcic has warned the Westfield Matildas must be prepared to face stifling tactics as his side continues to emerge as a force in world football.
Australia cruised to a 3-0 win over China PR at AAMI Park on Wednesday night despite the opposition regularly retreating into a deep defensive shape.
Sam Kerr's stellar brace and a deflected effort from Tameka Butt ensured there were few problems in unlocking the visitors.
But as the sixth-ranked Westfield Matildas climb closer to Stajcic's goal of becoming a top-three country, the national team boss believes they can expect to face fresh obstacles.
"The further we improve in our standing and reputation around the world, possibly teams will try different tactics," Stajcic said at his post-match press conference.
"Whether that’s pressing high or dropping off, we have to be ready for whatever the opposition throw at us.
"The difficulty tonight was China had a new coach, so we really didn’t know if they would change tactics, have a new formation, or different players in different positions.
"Credit to the players for having the maturity to solve problems on their own in the game ... it's a great sign for us."
Kerr got the scoring underway with a smart header midway through the first half before she lit up AAMI Park with a top-corner thunderbolt just beyond the hour.
Stajcic says the 24-year-old's incredible recent run of goals owes to a well-oiled attack.
"She’s doing a fantastic job for the team. But the patterns that create that space and time for her are a whole team effort," he said.
"She’s assisted many goals in the last three or four months and plenty of people have assisted her.
"She’s just that talisman up front at the moment and is in a rich vein of form.
"The whole team has confidence anyway, but to see her with such form and confidence probably gives the team an extra boost."