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Milligan: Socceroos wary of Tajikistan

Australia midfielder Mark Milligan said the Socceroos will have to stay disciplined and ruthless against a relatively unknown opponent in Tajikistan. 

After coasting past Bangladesh 5-0 in their AFC World Cup qualifier in Perth on Thursday, the Socceroos are now bound for Dushanbe where they will play Tajikistan for the first time in their history on Tuesday.

Australia – two from two in Group B – are already in pole position to advance to the third round of qualifying but Milligan insists the Asian champions will not be underestimating Tajikistan, who have only collected one point after two outings.

“They [Tajikistan] obviously throw up a lot of different challenges to what we faced last night and probably what we’ve faced before,” Milligan told reporters on Friday.

“It will be different conditions for us. We’ll have to wait until we get over there to see what it’s like.

“It’s [an artificial pitch] and there’s obviously different types of synthetic pitches.

“At the end of the day I don’t think it’s going to change the way we approach the match. We’re still going to go in with the same disciplines and game plans regardless of the surface we’re playing on.”

Ange Postecoglou’s side relished playing in front of their home fans, enjoying the pristine nib Stadium surface and comfortable temperatures in the west.

Things will be far less accommodating in Tajikistan, with a much slower pitch and temperatures expected to be close to 30 degrees Celsius come kick-off.  

“It’s just another one of the challenges that qualifying through Asia throws up,” Milligan added.

“It’s a big trip but we have the best possible medical and fitness staff in place that will have us ready for whatever we face.

“We know it’s going to be a little bit warmer over there and we’ve started preparing for that already.

“But to start the camp in the way we did was great. We like to be aggressive and I thought we were very disciplined last night which can be hard to do, especially against a team that’s so defensive minded.”

Fri 4 Sep, 2015
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