Socceroos coach Graham Arnold confirms health of Ajdin Hrustic ahead of Tunisia game


DOHA: The Socceroos will once again welcome star midfielder Ajdin Hrustic, as manager Graham Arnold has rallied his troops to be ‘ready for war’ in their must-win game against Tunisia.

Arnold has repeatedly referred, somewhat facetiously, to the France match as a ‘friendly’ – and to be fair, if you’re going to be beaten by one of the heavyweights in the competition, you better get away with it. get rid of early.

“The best friendly game we’ve ever had – it’s a two-game tournament now. It was three games, but yeah, we have to win the next two, and there’s no better opposition to play against. playing in a so-called friendly match as France will punish you for every little mistake like they did,” he told reporters ahead of the clash in Tunisia.

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“It’s been a great learning experience for a lot of these young lads. We had 11 starters and that’s what it’s all about, not just for this campaign but also for the next one.”

Arnold said the issue of getting the players back after the France thrashing was quite straightforward – after all, they are professionals, and this is a World Cup.

“They were down, they were disappointed of course – but straight after the game we came back to the hotel and I grabbed them straight into a room and told them how proud I was of their work ethic. and their commitment,” he said.

We won’t know in advance what sort of tactical changes the Socceroos boss is planning, but the aim is quite simple – more of what we saw early on against France, and throw the rest away.

“It was the intention against France, to play much higher up the pitch, as we started in the first 30 minutes,” he said.

“We have to do it for 90 but when you hand over possession so cheaply you get pushed back – and that’s the technical aspect we have to work on.”

One positive is that every player came through the game against France unscathed, and on top of that Australia should probably see the return of one of their key players.

“Ajdin Hrustic’s ankle is good – 95 (percent), so the other five don’t matter. He can start,” Arnold said.

“We’ll see how he is over the next few days and make sure he’s ready to go.”

Tunisia will be backed by a raucous cheer section, as they were a few days ago against Denmark – and the Socceroos need to be prepared.

“We have to be ready for this war,” Arnold said.

“They’re aggressive and they’re going to have 40,000 fans behind them and it’s going to be a really amazing experience for everyone again.”

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