The Socceroos are confident they can adapt their style of play to break down packed defences and start their upcoming World Cup qualification campaign on a high note.
Australia kick off their run to the 2026 tournament, co-hosted by the USA, Canada and Mexico, by playing Bangladesh at Melbourne’s AAMI Park on Thursday, then Palestine in Kuwait five days later.
Graham Arnold’s charges will likely have far more possession in those games than in recent friendlies against Argentina, England, Mexico and Ecuador.
“Especially watching for the past four or five years, playing the big teams, you don’t really get the constant possession or the ball to practice these type of things,” midfielder Massimo Luongo said.
“So these are great games for us to maybe strengthen a part of the game where we’re probably not as strong.
“Compared to playing against Argentina where you’ve got to be solid and block spaces and worry about their threats and you might get a few chances on the counterattack, or you might have possession for half the time we probably will on Thursday.
“So it’ll be a great game to test a few things that probably we don’t get tested enough on.
“You need a lot of patience … you’ve just got to stick in there and try and break down those types of teams — and you will, and you’ll get opportunities.
“It just comes down to having a level head and a bit of composure and then getting that first goal.”
Teammate Jackson Irvine was confident Australia could break down packed defences.
“We’ll have to find new solutions and ways to create chances and score goals but we’ve got such great quality, great individual quality and a great structure as a team that we know we can create chances and score goals,” Irvine said.
“We want to give the fans something to get off their seats for and be excited about and provide bits of individual quality combined with the structure and the way we play as a team.”
On Thursday, Arnold will take the outright record for most ‘A’ internationals as Socceroos coach when he steps into the technical area for the 59th time.
“He’s been a huge factor in the way my career and international career’s developed over the last five years,” said Irvine, the current St. Pauli skipper in Germany’s 2. Bundesliga.
“I’ve started just about every game since he became coach and he puts such trust in me.
“We have a really good relationship in terms of the balance we find between what he lets us control as senior players on the field as well as away from the pitch.
“Obviously it will be a special night for him and hopefully we can reward him with a great performance and a win.”
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