‘Let’s have a win’ – Arnold backs Roos’ attack to click in Indonesia clash
Coach Graham Arnold is confident the Socceroos can find their goalscoring form against Indonesia and book their ticket to the Asian Cup quarter-final in style.
The clash will be the first time both sides have faced off against each other since March 2010.
Australia will enter Sunday’s round-of-16 clash at Jassim bin Hamad Stadium as top of group B but off the back of scratchy form.
The Socceroos scored just four goals in three group games as they struggled to break down packed defences.
But ahead of Arnold’s 50th match at the helm since taking the reins full-time in 2018, he was adamant his charges were “just about to click”.
“The stats have shown that we’ve spent more minutes in the opponent’s half than anyone and we have more penalty box entries and more touches in the penalty box,” Arnold told AAP.
“I’ve just sat and watched Japan and South Korea, with Premier League players, struggle against packed defences.
“It’s just about getting combinations and the connections right and also the confidence.
“It’s all about getting players in the box and I feel that all the statistics and the data show that we’re getting a lot of players in the box and we’re getting those half-chances, which is good.
“But at the end of the day, the patterns and everything are going well – it’s just the end product of the cross or the shot or the cutback or the finish.
“Obviously, we’ve got improvement there and the boys, we’ve spoken about it, they clearly understand that we need to improve on that last pass or that last action.
“They know that as well as I do, and we’re doing our best.”
Striker Mitch Duke (hamstring) and winger Craig Goodwin (knee) appear in doubt after training away from the main group on Friday.
If Australia beat world No.146 Indonesia, they’ll face either Saudi Arabia or South Korea.
Arnold’s current tenure has included 32 wins, 12 draws and seven losses.
“It’s been a pretty tough journey at times, especially given we’ve only played about 10 games out of 50 at home,” he said.
“The winning stats are good and I’ve been proud of the boys with what we’ve achieved.
“But it’s all about the next game and the 50th game – let’s have a win.”
Arnold’s expectations remain high in Doha.
“The Asian Cup is important for me. What’s a little bit disappointing at times is it’s not respected that way,” he said.
“For me, it’s the Asian equivalent of the Euros. It’s such a important tournament for the development and growth of the game, but also for the region of Asia.
“It’s a massive tournament and, of course, my expectations and my goals are to come here to win it, otherwise I wouldn’t bother being here – I’d rather stay home.
“That’s why we’re here. That’s why we’ve had one day off in three weeks.
“We’re here to do the nation proud and with the expectations and the goal to win it.”