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Holman pleased with build-up

Australia attacker Brett Holman says the decision to cancel a friendly will aid his team’s bid for a positive result against Iraq.

The Socceroos were scheduled to meet the United Arab Emirates in a warm-up match before facing Iraq in a AFC World Cup qualifier in Doha on Tuesday.

But following Australia’s shock 2-1 defeat to Jordan, manager Holger Osieck opted out of the fixture in order to keep his squad fresh ahead of their 2011 AFC Asian Cup quarter-final rematch.

Holman, whose performances at club level saw him named Aston Villa’s player of the month for September, said the cancellation of the friendly has given Osieck a chance to address some key areas.

“I think it’s helped that the game was cancelled in Dubai and you grab a lot of positives out of that,” Holman said.

“It’s one of those things where you can work a little bit extra on the tactical side and if you have two games it’s a little bit difficult.

“You can work on a lot more things. The coach can address different things that he wants to look at and work on and obviously experiment a little bit and it’s been good so far.”

The Socceroos remain winless after three qualifying matches in the final stage, with two draws and a loss to date.

And while they trail Group B leaders Japan by eight points with five games remaining, the Villa midfielder feels the Socceroos are yet to reach crisis point.

“I think it’s more a confidence sort of thing more than to say it’s a must-win,” Holman said.

“I think if we do get a victory then it definitely gives a big morale boost to the squad, to the coaching staff and just everybody around the camp.

“So I think that will give us a fantastic boost.”

Sun 14 October, 2012
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