Dubai: Socceroos rearguards Aziz Behich and Rhyan Grant are confident Australia can bounce back from their opening day loss when they face Palestine in their AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 Group B tie on Friday.
Australia struggled in front of goal as they failed to produce an equaliser against Vital Borkelmans’ Jordan at the Al Ain’s Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium on Sunday.
Graham Arnold’s side now have little margin for error in their remaining two group matches and defenders Behich and Grant spoke to the-AFC.com on Australia’s chances against the Lions of Canaan.
“The team are disappointed with the result against Jordan. But we are staying positive and we know what we are capable of and what we have to do. We will analyse the previous game and put that behind us,” said Behich during an interview at the team hotel in Dubai.
“There’s enough of us with experience in the squad to make sure the team is upbeat. We’ve good a great group, a lot of strong characters. Our staff has been unbelievable with the positivity and are making sure we still have got a job to do which is to defend our title.”
The 28-year-old, who plays for Dutch side PSV Eindhoven, remains confident Australia can get off on the right foot against Palestine at the Rashid Stadium.
“It’s not one game that defines our tournament. We win these next two games and we will be looking our part.
“We want to start against Palestine straight away and get them on the backfoot and make sure we lock them in and get some early goals.
“We know teams against us are always going to sit back, they know we like to dominate play and they will try to catch us on the counter and that’s where it’s important for us, we have to be prepared for that on the rebound while attacking.”
Australia couldn’t break down Jordan, who were content to drop back and Grant – who came on as a second half substitute for Josh Risdon – said his team will not take Palestine lightly.
“Just like Jordan, the Palestine match is going to be tough. We’ll never give up and they’ll be exactly the same, so it will be a good test for us,” added the 27-year-old Sydney FC right-back.
“They might sit back like Jordan did and make it hard for us but, that’s up to us to break them down and make sure we’re scoring goals
“Whoever comes in for any other player would definitely do the job and do it well. The injuries aren’t great for individual players but as a team we don’t dwell on it much. We’re looking ahead, staying positive and feeling very confident.”
Source : AFC Asian Football Confederation Website