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Socceroos ready for massive challenge

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13 Jun 2014 02:01:52

Socceroos ready for massive challenge

Australia, basking in the role of world Cup underdogs, are up for the "massive" challenge of tackling Chile, coach Ange Postecoglou promised in Cuiaba on the eve of Friday's Group B game.

"Chile feel they can make a big impact in this tournament, they've got an exceptionally strong unit, for us it's a massive challenge," the Aussie boss told a press conferencne at the Arena Pantanal on Thursday evening.

"It's the first game so it's obviously very important, we're up for it, the players are ready."

On the fact that his largely experimental side were already being dismissed as also rans in a group also containing world champions Spain and Holland the Socceroos boss shrugged: "It doesn't bother us if people don't pay us atention.

"It's a tough group, look at the rankings. People see us as outsiders, that's okay, we prepare the same."

Australia, who made it out of the first round in 2006 before falling in extra time to eventual winners Italy, will be spurred on by a 15,000-strong travelling support.

"Soccer in our country is growing all the time, a lot have travelled over. It's a long trip from Australia, so coming to support us that means a lot - the players will feel that support."

Aussie captain Mile Jedinak described the considerable away fans' presence as "very special".

"We know how far it is, it would be great to repay that effort, it'll be a very special moment."

Jedinak helped his London club Crystal Palace gain promotion to the Premier league and then his performances helped them stay up in the top flight last season.

But even those moments he said would be eclipsed by leading his men out in Cuiaba on Friday.

"It's going to mean the world, not something I'll forget in a hurry."


AFP

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