Verbeek serve for players
Socceroos coach Pim Verbeek reminded his players in no uncertain terms of what is required for the match against Iraq, by blasting his players at the teams final training session at their Jebel Ali base before Saturday’s game.
Dubai: Socceroos coach Pim Verbeek reminded his players in no uncertain terms of what is required for the match against Iraq, by blasting his players at the teams final training session at their Jebel Ali base before Saturday-s game.
Verbeek got stuck into his players after the start of the 5 v 5 game and said later that it was sloppy and if they did that on Saturday the consequences could be severe. Needless to say the players responded and put in a spirited effort, despite the sapping humidity.
There was also a scare when early in the training session, Jade North was injured when in a warm-up exercise, Chris Coyne landed on his knee, leaving it swollen and sore. North though was up and about moving later in the session and training strongly in the teams final familiarisation session at the match venue on Friday night.
Brett Emerton who also did not train on Thursday because of a slight groin strain, also trained strongly at the 15,000 capacity Al Ahli Club Stadium.
“It was necessary,” when asked why he was angry with the players. “I don-t play games; I am not an actor. The start of the 5 v 5 was sloppy and you can not do that on Saturday, you have to be on from the first minute.
“We know what-s going to happen; they will want to force an early goal and then drop back and counter-attack. So you have to be awake from the first second, so we can-t start Saturday like we started today (Thursday).”
Verbeek wouldn-t reveal his team, but it looks increasingly likely he will start with a back three, with Chris Coyne set to make his international debut.
The Dutchmen is still targeting a win in the match, despite his team being disadvantaged by the conditions.
“The sooner we have the three points the better it is. We-ll wait to see what happens with the weather; today it was good, but yesterday was quite tough, the players told me.
“The climate is not in our advantage, but I think if the pitch is good, we can play a good game and we have enough players who can score a goal. I am not so worried about getting goals against; more waiting for the chances that we-ll get and scoring them.”
Verbeek will be looking for a better start by his team than they did in last Sunday-s match, which Australia escaped with a 1-0 win.
“We didn-t do well; instead of controlling the game, we conceded corner kicks and gave free kicks away and they-re dangerous with that.
“The start was not that good day and we always say that you have to learn from your mistakes and that-s what we have to do for next Saturday. We have to be alert from the first second and they will come and attack; they will storm and this also means they will give space away. It-s us to us to take our chances.
“Possession is a key and we have players who can do that; I am very confident about that. We didn-t complain about the Brisbane pitch, because both teams had that, but we are a team that likes to keep the ball and at Suncorp it was difficult.
“Look no excuses; I haven-t seen the field yet, but I am told it-s good (although that attitude changed upon viewing it on Friday).”
He is also not concerned by the five players on yellow cards - Mark Schwarzer, Vince Grella, Luke Wilkshire, David Carney and Brett Holman - and wants them to go out and play natural and not think about what will happen if they cop another card (1 match suspension).
“We go for the three points; we know we have five players with one yellow card but we-ve enough players with us for the next games. Foolish; unprofessional yellow cards, we are not looking for and we-ll tell the players, but you cannot go into the game with the idea that I cannot do tackles or do this.
“I have a big squad; good selection (of players), so if something happens I have enough players for the next game.”
The match against Iraq, kicks off at 2am (AEST) on Sunday morning and can be seen live on Fox Sports. www.footballaustralia.com.au will also have a Live Match Update of the game from 1.45am.