Australia defender Sasa Ognenovski said the Socceroos are desperate to make amends for the performance against Scotland in August when they play Lebanon on Friday (AEST).
With a FIFA 2014 World Cup qualifier against Jordan in Amman five days after the Lebanon match, Ognenovski said the 3-1 loss to Scotland in August was a timely reality check and that the Socceroos have been working hard to improve the basic flaws in their game that were exposed.
“What we dished up against the Scots wasn’t up to scratch," Ognenovski said. "We all know that it just wasn’t good enough and the coach Holger Osieck told as much afterwards.
“He was quite harsh with his words and we all realise we didn’t really perform that day and need to do a lot better in the games ahead.
“We shouldn’t dwell too much in what happened because in football you have to move on quickly but you also have to learn lessons and I am sure we will be a lot sharper against Lebanon and of course, against Jordan.”
The Edinburgh loss left a range of question marks over Australia’s ponderous defending, lack of creativity in midfield and toothless attack.
With young defender Matthew Spiranovic restored to the squad, Ognenovski has stiff competition for a starting berth alongside captain Lucas Neill.
“It wasn’t my best day against Scotland either,” Ognenovski said. “My passing was off and I just wasn’t as sharp as I should be. I have been training hard since and hopefully I can just put that behind me now.
“We had very little lead-in time to prepare right against Scotland and that didn’t help but it will be different this time during the international break. Hopefully you will see the benefit of that.”
The 33-year-old, whose Stars League season with Qatar club Umm-Salal is yet to kick off, predicted Jordan would be a different prospect at home to the side that lost 6-0 to Japan in its opening group game.
“We really need the win against them but at home they will be tougher and smarter than they were in Japan. I actually see them as a bit of a danger team,” Ognenovski said.
“We have to make sure we are all fully prepared and come out and produce the sort of football we know we can.
“We are not reading too much into their loss to Japan who are a formidable opponent and had a lot of time in camp to prepare for that game.
“We are looking more at how Japan scored against them and what we can do to replicate that.”
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