Uzbekistan's big win is good for us says North
Socceroos defender Jade North says Uzbekistan's thrashing of Qatar is a good thing as it means the squad will be under no illusions how tough the task will be ahead of their clash on Wednesday night at Stadium Australia.
Socceroos defender Jade North says Uzbekistan's thrashing of Qatar is a good thing as it means the squad will be under no illusions how tough the task will be ahead of their clash on Wednesday night at Stadium Australia*.
Uzbekistan will come to Sydney full of confidence after jumping to third spot on the Group B ladder, knowing that an upset win will only put them a win behind Australia and still with a chance of finishing in the top two.
However the 4-0 win has also made sure that Australia will not be taking them lightly, despite a lot of talk about a potential goalfest for the home side.
“That result is kind of good for us, because we know now that we will have to be on our toes,” he said after a early morning recovery session.
"Going by the results last night, for me they are a heavyweight team.
“They cruised through the first qualifying stages and they will come here and give it to us.
“We-ve got to be prepared for that and obviously Pim-s really put pressure on us this week, saying that this team-s no walkover.
“I know the media has been talking about a goalfest for Australia, but I don-t think that-s going to be the way," he added.
North is in a three-way battle, with Michael Beauchamp and Chris Coyne for the second central defensive position beside captain Lucas Neill, with Craig Moore-s absence through injury.
However North said that their has been no indication as yet, which way Coach Pim Verbeek will go in his selection, although North would like to think he has done enough to get a start.
"You don't know till a couple of hours before the game (if selected or not) and that-s just the way Pim does it.
“I suppose that keeps everybody on their toes. It-s good; it-s healthy for the team; everyone is fighting for a position, which is good and that-s what we need.
"I'd like to think that I have put myself in a good position to be in the starting 11. I've just got to see what happens.”
North doesn-t have fond memories of the last clash with Uzbekistan in September last year in Tashkent, after he and Jason Culina were struck down by a stomach bug prior the match.
"How can I forget, it was one of the worst times I-ve ever felt sick. Me and Jase were the first two to come down with it; after the game a few others boys got it, but it was a very bad bug, whatever it was.''
The former Newcastle Jets skipper now plies his trade full time with Incheon United in Korea and is happy with how things have progressed so far.
"I've had a good two months pre-season and we're now three matches into the league season,'' he said.
"I'm being happy with how I-ve been playing. I'm playing back out on the right now, back to the running side of the game now.”
Midfielder Brett Holman, echoed North-s comments on Uzbekistan and has no doubt they will have to be on their game on Wednesday night.
"Even when we played them over there we knew they were a decent team,” Holman said.
“They have got fantastic players; sharp players and it was proved by their win against a decent Qatar side last night.
“We-ll have to be very sharp to get a good result on Wednesday night I think,” he added.
Tickets are still available for the match against Uzbekistan. To purchase your tickets, go to www.ticketek.com.au or phone on 132 849 or they can be purchased from all Ticketek outlets.
*ANZ Stadium referred to original name of Stadium Australia, due to rules of Asian Football Confederation.