Neill calls for respect for Jordan

June 9, 2013
By Guy Hand

Socceroos skipper Lucas Neill says his team knows how difficult an opponent Jordan will be on Tuesday night.

It's time everyone else in Australia realised the same thing.

"I don't think it's what we've learned - it's what you guys need to understand. Jordan are no mugs," Neill said on Monday.

"They are a very good team. I don't think you (media) are giving them enough credit.

"They have beaten Japan and Australia at home.

"So they are a team that deserve your respect - they certainly have our respect.

"It's a game we know if we don't play to near-best or best, there is a chance we won't win the game."

The Socceroos have made a point of stating in the lead-up to these two World Cup qualifiers that the standard of their opposition in this campaign has markedly improved.

That has left the Socceroos on a qualification knife-edge this time around - needing to beat Jordan at Melbourne's Etihad Stadium on Tuesday night and Iraq in Sydney next week or potentially miss out on Brazil.

Already the Socceroos have been beaten by Jordan 2-1 in Amman, and a below-par 2-2 draw with Oman in Sydney proved Middle Eastern opposition are capable of matching and testing Australia on home soil.

Coach Holger Osieck agrees with Neill, saying he always expected a tough job qualifying among the top two in their Group B.

"It was very clear I think from minute one that this qualifying campaign would be a very tough one," he said.

"We are still in a positive space that we can manage the situation based on our own strength.

"We focus on tomorrow and that is what counts, not what could have been or should have been."