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Emerton: Socceroos can go all the way

November 21, 2014 11:29:23 UK

Retired Socceroo Brett Emerton.

Brett Emerton is backing Australia to defy the doubters and do well at next year’s Asian Cup.

Emerton, who retired at the start of this year, played in both the Socceroos’ trips to the Asian Cup following their switch to the AFC in 2006.

The 95-cap Socceroo believes the fact that Australia, who are 3.25 to win the tournament outright, are staging this edition of the tournament weighs heavily in their favour.

It would take a huge turnaround of form for them to lift the trophy, as they have won just one of 11 games this year under Ange Postecoglou.

But former Feyenoord and Blackburn Rovers midfielder Emerton says: “I think they’ll do well, I’m optimistic we can go all the way.”

Emerton added: “Although things haven’t been that positive of late, I still think we’ve got a team, especially on home soil,  that can win it. History suggests that we’ve always been strong here on home soil.”

Host nations initially had plenty of success in the Asian Cup – six of the first nine tournaments were won by the home team. Japan, in 1992, were the last team to win on home soil though the UAE and China have both reached the final as hosts.

Emerton, who played in the last final in 2011 when the Socceroos lost to Japan, admits the 2-1 defeat to the Blue Samurai this week in Osaka wasn’t the best of ways for Postecoglou’s team to end their build-up to the tournament.

He said: “Ideally you’d like to have a more settled side, but like Ange has said, he’ll never have another opportunity to try and test players again. I think the testing period is now over and Ange will be judged on the results in the Asian Cup.”

Japan are 3.75 to win the Asian Cup.

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