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Jedinak fit for Chile showdown

Mile Jedinak says he came through Australia’s friendly loss to Croatia unscathed and will be fit for his the FIFA World Cup.

Jedinak had not played since the final day of the Premier League season last month due to a groin injury but started the 1-0 loss to Croatia in Bahia and impressed before being withdrawn late on.

Barring a setback in training during the week ahead, the hard-working midfielder is now certain to start Australia’s Group B opener against Chile on June 13.

“I feel great,” he told Fox Sports.

“I’m glad I got the 75 minutes under my belt. Now I just push forward, get myself right and be ready for that big one next Friday.”

Jedinak believes his team-mates acquitted themselves well despite going down to Niko Kovac’s team, with Australia operating at a higher tempo and with more cohesion than in their 1-1 draw with South Africa in Sydney last month.

“I thought we gave a good account of ourselves,” he said.

“Probably in the first half we did really well, we did what was asked of us,” he added as both sides were locked in a goalless stalemate at the break.

“I think they came out in the second half and applied a little bit of pressure.

“I think they got a little bit fortunate with the goal. I think one of the boys kept them onside through a deflection. It was a good test. Unable to score a goal but we’ll take a lot of positives, that’s for sure.”

As for the mood in the camp leading up to next weekend’s all-important showdown with Chile, the skipper had a simple but effective message: “We believe.”

Jedinak’s midfield colleague Mark Milligan meanwhile believes Australia need to commit fully to Ange Postecoglou’s game-plan, with the Socceroos yet to recreate their electric first-half performance against Ecuador in March.

“I think we’ve got to have a bit more faith sometimes in what we’re doing because when we did it, we did it quite well,” he said.

“I think we can do it for longer periods of time. They’re (Croatia) a very good side and second half their class started to show.”

Sat 7 June, 2014
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