The Socceroos are pinning their hopes on breaking the spirits of a marauding French side by locking down the game for the first 30 minutes, Australia winger Mat Leckie revealed today.
The Australian focus in training and warm up matches has been on staying compact at the back and launching lightning counter attacks to try and grab a goal against the run of play.
But the coaching plan almost came unstuck in the weekend’s match against Hungary when the Magyars employed a similar tactic, almost killing the game off for both fans and players.
“The most important thing against France is just to be very disciplined for the first half-hour, keep ourselves in the game and then the opportunities will come,” said Leckie before training today.
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“We have enough quality in our side to be a danger going forward as well.
“We want to be a compact side, but unfortunately Hungary took the exact same tactics so it was a bit of a stalemate.
“It was really difficult - their forwards weren’t getting a lot of the ball and we weren’t either, just because of how compact the game was, and there were very few chances.
“We had the video session last night and there were a lot of things we could have done better. There were a bit of tired legs and both teams playing the same tactics.”
Up against France though, Australia are focusing on their team spirit to give them the edge over the infamously slow starting but star-studded French side.
“We go in that game being the best side, as in the better team, “ insisted Leckie. “There’s no questions that their individuals are better than us.
“Where they play in the world, it’s another level from where we are. So we need to go out there with the better mentality, the better team spirit and discipline.
“If we can do that... that’s why we’ve been training to be a compact side, to make it difficult for them. They might start getting frustrated and that’s where the gaps will start to open up for us.”