Verbeek has no doubts game will be on
Socceroos coach Pim Verbeek has no doubts that his team will be playing Iraq on Sunday at Suncorp Stadium, but said if it didn’t go ahead than Plan B would be put into operation.
Socceroos coach Pim Verbeek has no doubts that his team will be playing Iraq on Sunday at Suncorp Stadium, but said if it didn-t go ahead than Plan B would be put into operation.
While not elaborating on what Plan B was going to be and that it was still being discussed by team management, he thinks it won-t get to that situation.
“We think we-ll play on Sunday,” he said after putting his squad through a testing work out in hot conditions at Ballymore Stadium this morning.
“We-ll go to Plan B if it doesn-t, but that-s for management and they will plan for that not the players.
“You see them training; we trained hard and we-ll focus on Sunday.”
Verbeek also doesn-t think the off-field distractions will have an effect on the players and praised them for their professionalism, at a time when they should be taking a break after a long season.
"You can see they're professionals,'' Verbeek said.
"This is part of their holiday, but they are here in the training camp preparing for the World Cup.
"There's not one player who has spoken about it so far. They just go on the field, train hard; they-re very professional.''
The day saw the arrival four more players into camp, with Scott McDonald at training in the morning, while Olympic team hopefuls Matt Simon, Ruben Zadkovich and Nikita Rukavytsya arrived in the afternoon and trained in the evening.
Verbeek has some tough decisions to make in the coming days, with the Dutchmen saying he has yet to finalise his likely starting line-up for the important clash against the reigning Asian Champions.
“Not so close to be honest,” Verbeek said, when asked if he was close to a starting line-up. They make it very difficult for me and that-s exactly what I want.
“That-s why we have more players and a lot of players make it very difficult for me and like that.
“It-s a very good situation for a coach.”
Meanwhile key player Brett Emerton is eagerly looking forward to being back in a green and gold shirt, after missing the last three internationals.
Having only played the once under Pim Verbeek, the Blackburn Rovers right fullback is looking forward to working with the coach for an extended period, after the brief few days they had in camp during the Qatar game.
"It-s been a while; the last game was against Qatar here (in Melbourne),” he said. "I've only played the one game under Pim so it'll be a good opportunity for me to get to know him better.
“I always look forward to pulling on the green and gold jersey and doing the best I can.”
While conceding that an easy six points was tempting if Iraq was suspended, Emerton hopes the game goes ahead, as much for the team-s sake, as for the fans.
“Obviously we would like to play,” he said. “It-s important to play as many games as possible, because I think we are in a little bit of a transition phase, with a lot of young players coming into the team .
“Also with Pim as well, because he is relatively new to the team.”
“It would be very disappointing (if it didn-t go ahead); because the support we have received since the World Cup has been fantastic and I understand it will be sold out again on Sunday. We hope the game will go ahead and we give them something to cheer about.”