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Postecoglou pleased with additions ahead of Greece clashes

Ange Postecoglou expects Australia to go to even greater heights when they take on a determined Greece outfit in Sydney on Saturday.

Postecoglou and the rest of the squad that performed so admirably in the 2-1 loss to England touched down in Sydney on Sunday and immediately switched their focus to Greece.

While the absence of the Asian-based players meant it was an understrength squad that took on England, the likes of Tim Cahill, Trent Sainsbury, Mat Leckie and Nathan Burns are back to bolster the side.

Apostolos Giannou, Ryan McGowan and young full-backs Alex Gersbach and Jason Geria are also in to give Postecoglou plenty of options.

“The challenging exercise for the England game was that we had a lot of guys missing and probably even more importantly than that a lot of guys going into it hadn’t played in a while,” Postecoglou told a news conference on Monday.

“Maty Ryan hadn’t played a club game since we played Jordan [in March], Josh Risdon, Jamie Maclaren, Aaron Mooy and Massimo Luongo hadn’t played in over a month.

“It was a real challenge to the way we set up and we tried to stick to our principles knowing some of the players weren’t up to it physically.

“Now we’ve got the boys flying in from all over Asia who all played on the weekend so they are all in good condition. It gives is a lot more solid foundation to play our sort of football.”

Greece coach Michael Skibbe was in Sunderland to watch the Socceroos and Postecoglou expects the visitors will be well-prepared and tough to crack.

“Greece will be a very determined opponent. It’s exactly the type of game we need. They will be a little bit more resilient defensively and make things harder for us,” he said.

“They are building as well so they will be pretty determined to do well. It’s going to be a different kind of challenge but a good one.

“Playing at home we pride ourselves on being a really dominant team and that will be tested as well.”

One of the criticisms of Australia’s performance against England was the lack of genuine goalscoring chances despite the amount of possession they enjoyed, especially in the first half.

While admitting it is an area they can improve, Postecoglou denied the side lack a ruthless streak in attack and expects things to improve with the likes of Cahill, Leckie, Burns and Giannou back in the squad.

“I don’t think we lacked a cutting edge up front. We were creative. We were playing away from home which is always a challenge to create opportunities and I still think we did that,” he said.

“Now coming into the Greece games we get a couple of our strikers back. I think we’re looking healthy.”

Mon 30 May, 2016
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