England train ahead of Australia clash
Tottenham boss Ange Postecoglou gave a pep talk to Australia’s players ahead of their friendly against England on Friday night. The 58-year-old, who recently won his second Premier League Manager of the Month award in a row, was invited to deliver a speech by Socceroos head coach Graham Arnold before the match at Wembley.
Postecoglou previously managed Australia for a period of five years before resigning two weeks after qualifying for the World Cup in 2018. He was joined in his pep talk to the current crop of players by Guus Hiddink, who also had a spell in charge of the Socceroos, in the hope of firing them up for their clash against Gareth Southgate’s side.
“It’s the impact you can have for future generations,” Postecoglou told the Australia squad. “You play at a stadium like that, make an impact. It’s not just for you, there’s going to be a little boy or a little girl who are going to look at that and say ‘one day that’s going to be me’.
“It wasn’t that long ago I was here [as manager], now I’m in the Premier League and everybody loves me, but trust me I haven’t changed one bit. I’m the same person but because I was Australian, because you’re Australian, sometimes you’ve got to work that little bit harder. There’s nothing wrong with that.”
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Postecoglou later expressed his gratitude at being invited to address the Socceroos camp, where he enjoyed catching up with some familiar faces. He also hailed the job that Arnold is doing in charge of Australia in a show of confidence for his successor ahead of Friday’s game under the Wembley arch.
“I had a free afternoon and they said to come over for lunch, so it was good to catch up with everyone,” he added. “It’s good to see some familiar faces, Jackson [Irvine], Milos [Degenek], Maty [Ryan], Aziz [Behich], Massimo [Luongo]. I hadn’t seen those boys since I left Australia so it was great to connect and good to see some young faces in there.
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“Guus made a major impact in Australian football, so it was good to spend some time with him and with ‘Arnie’. He’s doing a great job with the Socceroos. I’m looking forward to the game. Wembley, 90,000 [people]. I’ll definitely be there. I pencilled it in a while back.”
Australia will be hoping to make their former boss proud when they face England on Friday in search of their first win over the Three Lions since 2003. They are the heavy underdogs but will have been left inspired by Postecoglou’s rousing speech, which might just prove the difference if the match ends up going down to the wire.
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