Win against Qatar imperative says North
Defender Jade North believes it’s imperative that the Socceroos win next week’s game against Qatar in Doha, so to avoid a must win game in Sydney a week later against China.
Dubai: Defender Jade North believes it-s imperative that the Socceroos win next week-s game against Qatar in Doha, so to avoid a must win game in Sydney a week later against China.
With all four teams in Group 1 still in contention for the two qualifying places, this week-s fifth round of matches in this phase of World Cup qualifiers could prove pivotal.
A win by either Australia or Qatar, will virtually guarantee their qualification to the next phase, while a draw, will still see both teams remain level at the top, but allow both Iraq and China the chance to close the gap, if either win in Tianjin, a few hours earlier.
“It-s very important we get the three points and vital we get that top position,” North said, after a light session for the players, who too part in the Saturday-s 1-0 loss to Iraq in Dubai.
“It-s our future; it-s our World Cup and this is the first stage of it, so it-s a must win for us and we don-t want to go playing China at home, trying to get a result.
“Even if they can-t qualify, they will want to knock somebody off that can qualify.”
North admits that achieving a win in Doha will not be easy and since the 3-0 win in Melbourne, Qatar-s performances have improved dramatically, especially with Sebastian Quintana in the side.
“I have heard a little bit about them, but we-ll do a lot of video work and homework on them this week,” he said. “They are going to be a better team than they were when they came to Australia and obviously we are playing them in their back yard.
“It-s very difficult conditions over here, so it-s going to be tough.”
North also learnt that incumbent captain Lucas Neill, who he had formed a good partnership with in the earlier qualifiers, would not be coming for the Qatar, but is confident the players in camp will do the job.
“I didn-t know that,” he said rather stunned. “I thought he was coming.
“It-s going to be tough, but we-ve been playing together, a few us boys at the back there for a while now and we are starting to get to know each other-s games a lot better as we play every game now.”
North believes the defensive unit regrouped well after a less than flattering performance in Brisbane, but as luck would have it, they ended up losing this game. He was also full of praise for Chris Coyne-s debut performance.
“Defensively there were a few things that we had to work on, so that-s what we did at training and I thought we defended quite well. It was a very unlucky goal but I suppose that-s football.
“We gave them a few chances in the last game and to hardly give them any chances and they score that unlucky goal is pretty heartbreaking; that-s football and something we will have to take away.
“It was unfortunate but we are just looking forward to the next game anyway.
“He (Chris) was good; he-s a good leader; he doesn-t stop talking on and off the field. He is great for us and showed a lot of experience out there last night and what we need for the upcoming games.”
As for North himself, the Newcastle Jets Championship winning captain, is getting more and more comfortable with life as a national team players and wants it to continue.
“As every game goes by, I am just more and more confident. I love putting the green and gold on and hopefully I would like to think I am doing a good job.
“I am still in the team and hopefully I can keep that going for a longer time yet.”