Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou.
Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou. MICK TSIKAS

Ange confident Socceroos can handle heat in Saudi Arabia

FOOTBALL: Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou is confident that any side he puts out can get the job done in Saudi Arabia on Friday morning (AEST).

Postecoglou has a full squad of 23 fit players to choose from and is holding back on naming his starting XI for the World Cup qualifying clash at the sold-out King Abdullah Stadium in Jeddah.

There is the likelihood that record goalscorer Tim Cahill will start from the bench as he looks to reach peak fitness following his move to Melbourne City but the Socceroos coach backs all his squad to do the job.

"The beauty of it is there's probably two or three line-ups I could put in there I would be confident can play our kind of game,” Postecoglou said.

"They all trained really well yesterday and even the ones that came in late are in good conditions.

"I've got a full list to choose from.

"We'll make those decisions after training and it will be a matter of selecting a team that I think will get the job done.”

Both the Socceroos and Saudi Arabia have won their first two games in Asian qualifying for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

The home team will have a vociferous crowd of about 60,000 roaring them on with temperatures also expected to be in the mid-30s.

But Postecoglou said his team had had ideal preparations for the big game and was ready for anything.

"Whilst the conditions are warm we don't think they are as warm as we have faced before,” he told reporters.

"The players have coped really well with it.

"The players are well adjusted to the heat and will be able to cope with whatever happens tomorrow night.

"We love playing in front of big crowds.

"It's a fantastic stadium here and I'm sure the players will love playing in it and in front of a big crowd.

Postecoglou said despite being successful in games against Iraq and United Arab Emirates to kick off their World Cup qualifying campaign, the Socceroos could not take anything for granted and would have to work hard to get anything from the tie.

"We expect that it's going to be a tough game and we prepare to win the game,” he said.

"You don't just go in there thinking things will happen. Expect is the wrong word.

"We go into every game preparing to play at our best and we know when we do that we're a difficult team to beat.

"It's not a matter of rolling up and thinking things will happen, that's not the values of this team.

"We prepare to work hard, be disciplined and stick to our game plan.

"If we do those things, hopefully the scoreboard is in our favour.”



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