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Defiant Postecoglou sticking to plan A for Socceroos

Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou reacts after Thailand scores a goal.
Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou reacts after Thailand scores a goal. JOE CASTRO

ANGE Postecoglou has vowed to surge on with his team's embattled game plan as it prepares for a pair of cut-throat World Cup qualifying playoffs against Syria next month.

And the defiant Socceroos boss has also brushed off criticism and suggestions his job should be under threat, insisting he has been through worse times throughout his professional coaching career.

"The Australian football industry chewed me up and spat me out 10 years ago - it doesn't change my conviction about what I think is right for our game and our country,” Postecoglou said on Wednesday morning.

"People can have their judgements on me, but I won't be pushed into the shadows of Australian football history like others by bowing to certain parts.”

Australia defeated Thailand at AAMI Park 2-1 on Tuesday night in a game in which the hosts had a staggering 45 shots on goal.

And they were made to pay by not finding the back of the net any more than they did, with Saudi Arabia's later 1-0 win over Japan enough to then see it through with the Samurai Blue as the automatic qualifiers from Group B.

Australia will now play Syria, on neutral territory on October 5 given the troubles in the war-torn Middle Eastern nation, and at home on October 10 at a venue yet to be determined.

And despite the controversy around his approach to matches, particularly his three-at-the-back system, Postecoglou refuses to take a more pragmatic approach to the games which will determine our World Cup fate.

If the Socceroos get through Syria they will play the fourth-placed North American side in November for a spot in Russia.

"The style and the approach is what works for us and what will work for us,” he said.

"We've had some challenges with personnel, you saw last night the difference having someone like Aaron (Mooy) in the team made after he missed the first game.

"Hopefully Mile (Jedinak) is back up and running and there's some experience back in there.

"You kind of hope that everyone is fit, well and available and, between now and then, is in good form.

"But in terms of the approach, no, we'll push on.

"People loved us against Chile, they didn't love us against Japan. It's the same approach, we'll find the consistency within that system. That's part of the growth.”

Robbie Slater has already led calls on Wednesday morning for a change in coach, while fellow Fox Sports commentator Mark Bosnich said the coach's job is "hanging by a thread” in an emotional post-match rant.

But Postecoglou's job has been declared safe by Football Federation Australia - and the boss said he isn't wasting time worrying about the critics.

"I think I said before the game, I'm not everyone's cup of tea. I get on with life.

"I'm the coach of the national team, it's a great honour. I took the role to do it a certain way and I'll see it through.

"Even last night, as frustrating as it was, I love watching that team play, my team play, our team play. And if we continue to play like that and continue to improve (we'll be fine).

"I've survived much worse than this and if anything it motivates me because I want to make sure Australian football gets on the right path.”

Postecoglou was up at 3.30am watching Saudi Arabia's game against Japan in Jeddah.

But he admitted to going into the match not expecting any favours.

"You hope the football gods are smiling on you, but I kind of knew at the end of our game, with Saudi only needing a goal and being at home (it'd be hard),” he said.

"And you saw after they scored, there wasn't much football played, it kind of fell into their lap and suited them.

"I didn't have a great deal of hope to be honest and I'm usually pessimistic about these things anyway.

"You watch it unfold, you take your medicine and move on.”

Topics:  ange postecoglou saudi arabia syria football world cup 2018 world cup qualifiers


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