Jedinak wants to take out FA Cup frustrations on England


London (AFP) – Australia captain Mile Jedinak plans to take out his FA Cup final frustrations on England in Friday’s friendly at the Stadium of Light.

Jedinak was given an extra day off before linking up with his Socceroos team-mates as he recovered from Crystal Palace’s 2-1 defeat against Manchester United at Wembley last weekend.

Palace were within touching distance of winning the Cup for the first time after taking a late lead against United, but the Manchester giants equalised to force extra-time and won it through Jesse Lingard’s brilliant volley, despite having Chris Smalling sent off.

Jedinak was frustrated to come so close to a historic achievement and then miss out, but now he is focused on leading Australia in their first meeting with old sporting rivals England since a 3-1 win in 2003.

“I was given an extra day to recover and I’m very thankful for that,” Jedinak told reporters on Thursday. 

“It was nice to be involved in yesterday’s training session and see everyone chomping at the bit and I’m no different.

“Once I got into camp I got it out of my system. There’s no better way than to be around these boys, my team-mates and the staff.

“You’ve been given the honour and privilege to be called up for your national team and there’s no better place that I want to be right now and I had to put that one behind me and look forward to tomorrow.”

Australia manager Ange Postecoglou, who has British-based players including Preston’s Bailey Wright, Massimo Luongo of QPR and Celtic’s Tom Rogic at his disposal, is relishing pitting his Asian Cup holders against one of the contenders for the Euro 2016 crown.

Apart from a 2-0 defeat to Jordan in October, the Socceroos dominated their last World Cup qualifying group, winning seven games.

“We’re preparing for our World Cup campaign ahead,” Postecoglou said

“Over the last 12 months we’ve had the first phase of qualifying and come through that strongly but it’s been against Asian opposition and we don’t get many windows in which we can play against opposition outside of our confederation and test ourselves away from home.

“It’s a great opportunity to do that and expose some of our players, and possibly some new ones.

“We’re expecting a difficult game and there’ll be players vying for positions so there’ll be plenty of motivation for England to do well tomorrow and that’s exactly what we want.”

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