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Holger Osieck: Win over Lebanon gives the Socceroos confidence

Holger Osieck: Win over Lebanon gives the Socceroos confidence


With his side winless in four matches, Holger Osieck was happy with his side's victory over Lebanon and talked up its importance ahead of the World Cup qualifier against Jordan Indonesia   By JAMES RANSON

Australia coach Holger Osieck was pleased with his side's morale-boosting 3-0 friendly win over Lebanon, with his formation change reaping dividends ahead of Tuesday's AFC 2014 World Cup qualifier against Jordan.

Australia put paid to their 3-1 loss to Scotland in August with a fluid performance, including two goals inside the opening half-hour from Tim Cahill and Matt McKay, as goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer became the first Socceroo to register 100 caps.

"First of it all it was a good win. It is always good for morale and it will give us a kind of boost," Osieck told Fox Sports.

"As I said before the game, I wanted to have a look at specific stuff that we worked on in training.

"In the first half there were some really good aspects and that gives us a lot of confidence for Tuesday."

Among the tweaks to the system, Osieck trialled McKay and the impressive Mark Bresciano in the centre of midfield with Carl Valeri out injured, and played two up front [Cahill and Alex Brosque] on top of two wide attacking players [Nikita Rukavytsya and Robbie Kruse].

"Our shape was pretty decent and our new formed midfield in the centre with Matty [McKay] and Bresciano worked pretty well, they complemented each other pretty well," Osieck said.

"They had a lot of good tactical awareness although you might say at first glance that those types of players won't fit [together].

"It did work and that was very encouraging because Carl Valeri, our normal workhorse in midfield, was not available because of injury so I had to go for a different option.

"The two in the centre up front were very sharp, very mobile - Timmy and Alex.

"And the wide players they didn't just give the pace when attacking, they tracked back and worked hard defensively."

The Socceroos are third in their qualifying group with two draws from two games and need a win in Jordan on Tuesday to bolster their chances of occupying one of the two automatic World Cup qualifying spots in the group.

"We got some confidence from the game, we're well prepared [for Jordan]," Osieck said.

"It's not the way I want to be with the team but it's still early in the season and we're getting there."

Captain Lucas Neill graciously handed Schwarzer the armband near the end of his milestone match and said it was satisfying to put the Scotland performance into the vault.

"It [the match against Scotland] wasn't a good performance from our point of view," Neill said.

"We set a good performance from our point of view, we set a certain standard particularly in the Japanese game and we wanted to get back to closer to that.

"It was nice to get two goals early and without being too troubled at the back.

"It was hot, it was very humid, but we've training very hard for five days and we were ready for it so we're very well prepared for Tuesday."

Schwarzer said it was a great honour to become the first Socceroo to reach 100 games.

"I'm actually quite happy the game is over with to be quite honest with you. The boys did a great thing tonight and wore shirts in celebration of 100 caps," Schwarzer said.

"I didn't, I felt a bit silly about doing it. It's a great honour and I feel very privileged and very humbled by it."

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