Thompson's club coach believes his striker does not need to worry about age, with the veteran speaking out after scoring in the Socceroos' win over Iraq
|By PADDY HIGGS
Melbourne Victory coach Ange Postecoglou believes Archie Thompson's form at international level speaks for itself, and has urged his striker to let goals do the talking for him.
Thompson made some pointed comments after scoring the winner in Australia's crucial 2-1 win over Iraq in AFC 2014 World Cup qualifying on Tuesday, telling Fox Sports he hoped the result "shut a few mouths" of critics of the Socceroos' performances and a perceived failure to regenerate under Holger Osieck.
Thompson, fellow Socceroo Mark Milligan and New Zealand international Marco Rojas are expected to be rushed in to Victory's XI for Friday's match with Adelaide United at Docklands, given the hosts are still winless under Postecoglou after two matches this A-League season.
Milligan and Thompson arrived back in Australia shortly before Postecoglou's press conference on Thursday, and the Victory coach said both were desperate to play.
"They got in an hour or so ago, but they fly at the right end of the plane, so I assume they got pampered," he told reporters.
"And to be fair to both of them - and Marco Rojas - right from the outset they've put their hand up. They want to play, they understand the position the club's in, and when you're in this sort of position, it's all hands on deck."
Victory will be hoping Thompson can carry his scoring form over to club level, with the 33-year-old now having found the back of the net in his last three internationals.
Postecoglou said the veteran's Socceroos form was no surprise, but advised Thompson to limit his comments on his selection and that of several other experienced players.
"If were Archie, I'd stop talking about age, because if we eliminated that from the process, no-one would say he was old," he said.
"It's not so much about the age, it's how you move, and he's not moving like a person of his age should. So if that's the case, then it shouldn't really be a factor.
"… I wouldn't be questioning it
"I reckon age becomes irrelevant if people move like he does. There are always exceptions to the rule, and I haven't seen anything in Archie that suggests to me he's slowing."
But despite his praise for Thompson, Postecoglou revealed his side knew exactly what he thought of their winless start to the season and what was riding on Friday's meeting with the Reds.
"I'm not a sharing the love kind of guy when things aren’t going well. You can't kid yourself," he said.
"We weren't up to standard, and if I had of come in and sprinkled some hugs around the place I think the players would probably be questioning what I'm doing.
"So you know, we're in sport and in sport there's a scoreboard and there's a ladder that measures everything we do, and right now that's suggesting that we aren’t up to standard and that's the honesty of it."