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Thompson demands Australia focus

Archie Thompson insists Australia must retain full focus in their FIFA World Cup Qualifying Group B fixture against Iraq on Tuesday.

The Socceroos will book a place in the 2014 finals in Brazil with a win in Sydney against Iraq, who are bottom of the group and unable to reach the tournament.

After a solid 4-0 win over Jordan last week, Australia’s fate is in their own hands, but the Melbourne Victory striker has warned they cannot afford to take their foot off the pedal now.

He said: “We did that after the game against Jordan (had a chat about not getting carried away).

“We were obviously delighted with the win, but I think what we said in the changing room was that we can not get complacent now, and we need to focus on this game.

“A lot of the older guys, I think (Mark) Schwarzer was the one that spoke, said that this is the last one – well I do not know for Schwarzer, he might go round again – but this is definitely the last opportunity for some of us to be playing in a World Cup.

“So we wanted to enjoy the week, focus hard, train hard, and then get ready for the game on Tuesday. We just heard now that it is a sell-out. So we are urging everyone to get their nice and early, even before warm-up, maybe just to intimidate the Iraqis a little bit.”

Mark Bresciano also stressed the importance of securing victory for the current Socceroos squad, for many of whom Brazil represents a last chance to play at the global football event.

“Obviously it is a very important game for us,” he added.

“It could be the last one for us, so we want to play this World Cup together. It has been such a great adventure for everyone, being part of the Socceroos for so long, and for me personally and some of the other boys to play in three World Cups, hopefully if we get the result on Tuesday.

“It will be a massive achievement for a lot of us.”

Sun 16 Jun, 2013
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