Tim Cahill and Daniel Arzani show off the relaxed nature of the Socceroos camp. Picture: Toby Zerna
Tim Cahill and Daniel Arzani show off the relaxed nature of the Socceroos camp. Picture: Toby Zerna

‘No pressure’: Aussies galvanised by do-or-die clash

HIS tenure at the helm of the Socceroos could be hours from closing, but coach Bert van Marwijk insists he is thriving on the importance of Australia's game with Peru.

Needing both a win for Australia and for Denmark to lose to France in order for his side to stay in the World Cup, van Marwijk said the pressure of the situation would galvanise his team.

The stakes could hardly be higher, with the Dutchman is seeking to lead the Socceroos into the Round of 16 for only the second time - 12 years after compatriot Guus Hiddink made history.

Coaching at his second World Cup, van Marwijk is well aware of the enormity of the occasion - and the fact that if Australia fail to advance it would bring to a close his brief interlude as Socceroos coach.

But he will encourage his players to be fuelled by the sense of expectation, and use it to drive their performance. That includes scoring, with goal difference potentially part of the equation.

"I don't really feel the pressure," van Marwijk said.

Australia's coach Bert van Marwijk (R) talks to assistant coach Mark van Bommel ahead of the Peru clash. Pic: AFP
Australia's coach Bert van Marwijk (R) talks to assistant coach Mark van Bommel ahead of the Peru clash. Pic: AFP

"I know it is there, and everybody knows it's there, but the team reacts very relaxed.

"But you know, you need pressure, I need pressure, when I don't feel pressure I am not in the best condition.

"There are several meanings, but I think every human being needs pressure to perform. But you must have control over the pressure. You must not go too far.

"That's exactly the same for a team. They need pressure, they know it's good, its part of the deal, part of top sport.

"I have confidence in all my players. the only thing that you know and they know is the last step. We have to reward ourselves for the work we do and the way we play, what we showed the world.

"Everybody is positive, now we have to reward ourselves, the players know."

Relaxed....Tim Cahill and Daniel Arzani muck around at training. Pic: Toby Zerna
Relaxed....Tim Cahill and Daniel Arzani muck around at training. Pic: Toby Zerna

Whatever the outcome, van Marwijk said the players had shown they can match it against some of the world's best, after a narrow loss to France and a draw with Denmark.

"I am not a type who thinks the whole day 'I am proud'," he said.

"I have tried to explain that if you can organise a good team you don't always need the best players.

"We proved if you work hard and believe in something, and work always on details and the way you want to play and you repeat that everyday, then you see that (outcome).

Bert van Marwijk has some selection headaches to sort out. Pic: Getty
Bert van Marwijk has some selection headaches to sort out. Pic: Getty

"Everybody is talking about it. We can reach a level. I told you before (playing) France, when a country like Australia plays against France, out of 10 times you will lose eight or nine times.

"We had to create a situation where it is not eight or nine, but five or six. I think we are there.

"When you see them play against Denmark, their players are in the top competitions but we were the better team and we had 55 per cent of the ball."



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