Tuesday, 11 October 2016 –
Aidan Ormond @AidotheFFAEd
Postecoglou lamented a disappointing and “static” team performance in the 1-1 draw with the Samurai Blue.
But in Smith, who left Liverpool in the summer for fellow EPL club Bournemouth AFC, the Socceroos boss saw the attitude and energy he wanted from all his team.
The Aussie full back asked questions of the Japan defence that sat back deep and set up a defensive block that Australia struggled to cope with.
“But what you had there was a guy like Smithy who was willing to make runs beyond – even if he wasn’t going to get it [the ball],” Postecoglou told Fox Sports.
“It’s the way we want to play our football and it should be happening on both sides [of defence] and down the middle as well.
“We didn’t have enough of those players in the first half. We were just way too static. And that was the whole group.”
The Australian coach added: “The second half was better. And from a points perspective I think we’re in good shape. But right now I’m pretty flat because I wanted us to play better.”
The Caltex Socceroos head to Bangkok next month to face Thailand with eight points in the bank from four games in Group B.