Ange Postecoglou, Head Coach Socceroos has a word with his players in a water break during the international friendly match between Qatar and Australia at the Abdullah Bin Khalifa Stadium Stadium in Doha, Qatar.
DOHA: Veteran midfielder Mark Bresciano bluntly admits something is not right with the Socceroos and drastic improvement is needed before the Asian Cup.
Bresciano admitted Tuesday’s 1-0 loss to Qatar in Doha was an unacceptable result for a side with ambitions of winning the continental trophy on home soil in January.
While the 34-year-old said he and his teammates believed in the way they wanted to play under Ange Postecoglou, he was worried time was running out.
‘‘Personally, I think a big improvement [is needed],’’ Bresciano said.
‘‘Something’s not right, and we’ve got to fix it because it [the Asian Cup] is getting close. If we’re going to have any chance of winning it, games like tonight we shouldn’t be losing.’’
The Socceroos beat 96th-ranked Qatar easily three times in 2008, and Bresciano played in two of the victories.
He said while Middle Eastern teams were improving all the time, Tuesday’s result was also a reflection of the Socceroos’ transition.
‘‘We’re going through this transition with the young boys coming in, and maybe the standard has dropped a little bit,’’ he said. ‘‘But we know that and we’re working on that and we’ve got to become the best we can be before January.’’
Skipper Mile Jedinak said it was ‘‘bitterly disappointing’’ to lose a match he felt Australia dominated.
‘‘I think the performance itself, there was a lot of positives, but we’ve got to start cutting out those bits in our game where we’re giving away goals,’’ Jedinak said.
‘‘We’ve got a lot of work to do, but the confidence, it’s still going to be there. We believe in the way we’re going to play, and hopefully we’ll rectify that [against Japan] in November.’’
Socceroos greats appealed for calm, urging supporters to keep the faith in Postecoglou.
Former Socceroos captains Paul Wade and John Kosmina want the loss to Qatar to be kept in perspective.
While the defeat prompted Mark Bosnich to say he was almost panicking about the national side, Wade and Kosmina were less perturbed.
‘‘I’m not freaking out going, ‘Oh no, we have gone from taking on the best in the world to getting beat by Qatar,’’’ Wade said on Wednesday.
‘‘I’m not going to go slashing any wrists. I have changed my tune because normally I would have given it to them.
‘‘But I can totally understand the changes Ange Postecoglou is trying to make with the players that he has, who are trying to adapt to that.
‘‘It is very well structured and it takes a little bit of time.
‘‘I have utmost confidence in what Ange is trying to do and what the players will deliver here in Australia in the Asian Cup.’’
Kosmina also remained bullish about Australia’s prospects for the Asian Cup on home soil in January but said the Socceroos needed to be more ruthless in the back half and more cunning in attack.
‘‘It’s still a work in progress, and I can see where Ange is coming from,’’ Kosmina said.
‘‘But it gets back to the same thing I said after the World Cup: we’re not clever enough in the front third of the pitch. And it’s as simple as that.
‘‘We get good field position, so to speak, and don’t make the most of it.
‘‘We’re not even building pressure on the opposition by creating chances and getting into good areas where we have got them on the back foot.’’
Postecoglou’s game plan was sound, but queries remained whether he had the players to implement it, Kosmina said.
‘‘I like the way he is trying to get the team to play. But sometimes you have got to look at the type of players you have got and say, ‘Are they actually capable of playing that way?’
‘‘I’m not being disrespectful, but you have got Tim Cahill and Mark Bresciano, they are not the sort of blokes that are going to press at 100 miles an hour because their bodies simply can’t do it.’’
Kosmina and Wade stressed the friendly status of the Qatar fixture and Australia’s scoreless draw with United Arab Emirates four days ago.
But Bosnich said the Socceroos clearly struggled in both encounters.
‘‘Not far from panic,’’ Bosnich said on Fox Sports when asked how he felt about the performances. AAP