Football: Jedinak says Australia can win Asian Cup

Football: Jedinak says Australia can win Asian Cup

MELBOURNE - Despite a run of poor results, Australian captain Mile Jedinak said Friday that the Socceroos have what it takes to lift the 2015 Asian World Cup held on home soil next month.

"I think 100 percent we've got the right blend (to win the Cup)," the Crystal Palace skipper said.

Australia failed to pick up a point at the World Cup in Brazil, but that did not dampen the 30-year-old's enthusiasm after the squad's first training session in Melbourne, where they play Kuwait in the opening game on January 9.

"We know what's happened in the last year, in terms of the games and things like that, it's all been built up towards this point," Jedinak told reporters.

"The boys are looking to get out there and do the job.

"It was great having the World Cup so soon before this tournament.

"It got a lot of the squad to see what a tournament environment feels like."

Australia, ranked 100th in the world, go into the Asian Cup having won just one of their 11 games in 2014 and following losses to Qatar and Japan in their last two outings.

But Jedinak said he was not worried about whether the Socceroos squad - more than half have fewer than 15 caps each - could handle the pressure of playing at home where they are expected to win.

"I don't see any reason why not," he said. "A lot of the boys are going to be excited that it's going to be on home soil.

"We understand that's going to come with added expectation.

"Are we capable of handling that? I believe so."

Jedinak was Friday named as Football Federation Australia's player of the year for the second year running after last month picking up Asian football's top international player award.

The midfield powerhouse and stalwarts Tim Cahill and Mark Bresciano spearhead Australia's bid for Asian Cup glory.

Coach Ange Postecoglou has stuck with 16 of the players who went to the World Cup in Brazil and lost all three games despite some strong displays.

There are also seven survivors from the last Asian Cup in Qatar in 2011 - Nathan Burns, Cahill, Jedinak, Robbie Kruse, Matt McKay, Tommy Oar and Matthew Spiranovic - where Australia lost 1-0 to Japan in a pulsating final.

 

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