Matildas release statement in support of Stajcic

"Our belief within this group is unbreakable..."

Australia's women's football team the Matildas have released a statement following the shock sacking of coach Alen Stajcic.

The coach had been at the helm for five years but was stunningly removed from the job on Saturday, with the exact reasons for the sacking only now emerging

Matildas stars Sam Kerr, Kyah Simon, Chloe Logarzo, Lisa De Vanna and others have all come out in support of Stajcic on social media, while on Tuesday the team released an official statement.

"We, the Matildas, would like to acknowledge it’s been a difficult time for everyone involved," the statement read.

"We would like to thank Staj for his dedication to the Matildas and more broadly for being a strong advocate for women’s football in Australia.

"As a playing group we are committed to continuing to build on the success we have achieved under his guidance.

"It’s important for us now to stay focused on our common goal, which remains winning the World Cup 2019.

"Our belief within this group is unbreakable and we will continue to challenge ourselves and each other along this journey."

The statement failed to expand on any of the speculation surrounding Stajcic's sacking, but reaffirmed the fact that he had plenty of fans among the squad.

It has since been reported that Stajcic was sacked due to cultural issues within the Matildas set up.

Some players were reportedly suffering high levels of stress and feared speaking out within the team environment.

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The decision to sack the 45-year-old leaves Australia without a coach just five months out from the World Cup in which they were considered among the favourites to win the tournament.

A replacement for Stajcic hasn't been named with the Matildas next matches coming in a mini tournament on home soil against New Zealand, South Korea and Argentina - beginning at the end of February.

They will then have an April friendly against powerhouse USA in Colorado before embarking on their World Cup campaign in early June.