Socceroos relishing must-win equation

June 10, 2013
By Guy Hand

With every match now a grand final, it is a World Cup equation which suits the sensibilities of the Socceroos.

A team which relishes backs-to-the-wall combat, Australia's World Cup qualifier showdown with Jordan on Tuesday night is must-win.

So too is the qualifier the following week in Sydney against Iraq.

Anything less than two wins, and the Socceroos are no certainties to get to the World Cup finals next year - needing a top two spot in Group B behind already qualified Japan to make it without further playoffs.

With belief on a high from the gutsy 1-1 draw against Japan last week, skipper Lucas Neill is confident knowing exactly what is needed to get to Brazil has galvanised his team.

"We're all very focused. We all understand what is required now," Neill said.

"The Japan game was one which filled us with a lot of belief and confidence ... but we don't look back, we look forward."

Coach Holger Osieck must wrestle with whether to reinstate Mile Jedinak to a holding midfield role after he missed the Japan game with an ankle injury which is now fully recovered.

It would mean dropping Mark Milligan - a big gamble considering he plays his club football at Tuesday night's Etihad Stadium venue with Melbourne Victory, and how good he was against the Japanese.

Osieck has hinted at possible changes despite his pride in the Japan result, and won't tell his players the starting side until later on Tuesday.

"It's a new game. The dice are rolled in a different direction, and we know what we have to face," he said.

"We know there's quality in the Jordan team, and they've played so many qualifying games on so many levels.

"It's a home game, we'll have the local support and hopefully it will be very vocal.

"I'm sure the boys will respond. Everybody knows what's expected. I think we'll be okay."

More than 45,000 are expected to attend the match.