Postecoglou defends team changes

January 18, 2015 11:40:04 UK

Mathew Leckie was benched but came on in the second half against South Korea.

Coach Ange Postecoglou defended his selection decisions after seeing Australia go down 1-0 to South Korea in their final Asian Cup group game in Brisbane.

Postecoglou made four changes to the side that had beaten Oman 4-0 to clinch their place in the quarter-finals.

Tim Cahill, who had scored nine of Australia’s first 13 goals under Postecoglou, was one of the players benched, along with attackers Robbie Kruse and Mathew Leckie, as well as fullback Jason Davidson.

Cahill, Kruse and Leckie were sent on in the second half, with Leckie playing the final half-hour, but the Socceroos could not find an equaliser after Lee Jung-hyup had given the Koreans the lead on 33 minutes.

Australia were again missing skipper Mile Jedinak through injury, with Mark Milligan standing in as he did against Oman, while Postecoglou brought James Troisi, Nathan Burns and Aziz Behich into his starting line-up.

“We didn’t rotate players tonight, we had a team we thought were capable of winning the game,” said the coach.

“We have three games in eight days and we knew tonight was going to be a difficult game because of the (hot) conditions. We had some fresh players and we thought they’d give us the best chance of victory.”

Postecoglou singled out Troisi and Burns for praise, with both players going close to scoring and earning a draw that would have secured top spot in Group A.

Australia, who will stay in Brisbane for their quarter-final, now have four days to prepare to take on China, a game which they are 1.66 to win. China are 5.50 and the draw is 3.50.

One change for that match will see Alex Wilkinson come into central defence for Matthew Spiranovic, who picked up his second booking of the tournament and will be suspended.

Postecoglou said: “We didn’t expect to get through all of these games without a suspension. Alex Wilkinson’s ready to go; he’s a very experienced player and he’ll fit straight in no problem.”

Don’t forget, all of the fantastic markets we have to offer, including In-Play betting, can be accessed on mobile or tablet with bet365 On The Move.

View all Soccer betting

About the Author

Comments are closed.