Australia coach Bert van Marwijk brushed aside suggestions he will follow the legacy set by Ange Postecoglou, indicating he will do things “my way”.
The 65-year-old Dutchman was made available to the media in Sydney on Thursday for the first time since being appointed Socceroos coach a week ago.
When asked whether Australia will play with the same attacking tactics used by Postecoglou, Van Marwijk made it clear he will be making his own mark on the team.
“I have respect for the former coach, but I will do it my way,” Van Marwijk said.
“I’m a realistic coach. I like creative football, I like to have the ball but I also like to win. That’s the most important thing.
“I think it’s important we play in a way that fits the players. Also the coach. You cannot play in a way the players cannot do.
“In modern football you have to have influence on the game when you don’t have the ball. In modern football it’s all about transition.
“Manchester City may have the best team in the world. They may have the best possession, but they also score the most goals out of transition.”
— Caltex Socceroos (@Socceroos) February 1, 2018
Socceroos talisman Tim Cahill re-joined former club Millwall in the Championship – nearly two months after leaving A-League’s Melbourne City.
Van Marwijk hinted he was pleased with Cahill’s move but refused to elaborate further on his plans for the 38-year-old striker.
“I think it’s a very good signal that he’s gone to play for Millwall,” he said.
“But I will not say anything on the qualities of the players.”
Australia have been drawn alongside France, Peru and Denmark for June’s World Cup in Russia.
Van Marwijk outlined his goal was to get the Socceroos to the knockout stages and said the mission begins now to get a result against France in their first match.
“I go to the World Cup with only one thing that counts – to survive the first round,” he said.
“If I didn’t have confidence in [getting to the next round of the World Cup], I wouldn’t be sitting here.
“They [Australia] can play football. They try to play football. They are strong physically.
“The challenge is to let them play in a way that we have more chance to win games, for example against France.”
The Socceroos will play their first matches under Van Marwijk next month, with a friendly game in Oslo against Norway on March 23 before taking on Colombia in London four days later.
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