Australia primed for Honduras World Cup showdown

Sydney (AFP) – Coach Ange Postecoglou said Australia were one of the best-organised national teams in the world and would be better prepared than Honduras at next month’s World Cup play-offs.

The Socceroos face a home-and-away play-off against Honduras, the fourth-placed team from the CONCACAF federation, for a spot at next year’s World Cup finals in Russia.

Postecoglou said Australia’s investment in rehabilitation, sports science, psychology and all-around planning should pay a dividend.

“We are the best-organised national team in the world. I would back us against anybody,” Postecoglou told a business forum in Sydney on Thursday.

“It’s an advantage for us. We’ve faced some pretty challenging conditions all the way through this World Cup campaign.

“While people are fussing on what we’re going to face over there, what they’re not thinking about is, that trip back from there is going to be tough.

“I think it will be an advantage for us… in terms of the physical and psychological preparation I reckon we’ll be well ahead of the opposition.”

Postecoglou, whose own national coaching future with the 2015 Asian Cup champions is uncertain after the inter-continental play-off, is expecting a torrid away-leg in Honduras on November 10.

“It’s going to be passionate. It’s going to be hostile. But it’s a World Cup. It’s what you want,” he said.

“We’re not going there for an opera.”

Both teams have to negotiate a gruelling flight back to Australia for the return leg in Sydney on November 15 to decide the World Cup berth.

Postecoglou said his focus was on the Honduras matches amid reports he would quit the Socceroos coaching role after the make-or-break play-offs.

“I’m not going to go out there and start thinking about what happens after these two games because they’re just too important,” he said.

“This is the greatest honour you could possibly have.

“All the other stuff — whether it’s criticism over the way the team’s playing or me or what I’m going to do — is just noise that doesn’t infiltrate me and certainly it doesn’t infiltrate the camp.”

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