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Postecoglou turns up heat for Socceroos

AAP logoAAP 5/09/2016 By Ben McKay

Tough-talking Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou expects the United Arab Emirates to be afraid of Australia, with or without captain Mile Jedinak, in their World Cup qualifier on Tuesday night.

And according to the Asian Cup-winning boss, they should be.

Postecoglou is undaunted by the sultry weather, the opposition, a hostile crowd or the stakes at play when the two sides meet at Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium.

Organisers have thrown open the gates to the match, hoping to fill the 42,000-seat venue on the back of UAE's stunning 2-1 win over Japan in their first qualifier.

But Postecoglou isn't one to take a backward step, talking up the Socceroos and urging Australians to do the same.

"I think they'd be a bit fearful of us and have every right to be. I expect them to sit back," he said.

"Other teams probably hold us in higher regard than we do ourselves."

Jedinak, the only Socceroo to have started all three previous meetings with the Gulf state, did not train on Sunday and could miss the match.

"I had a little bit of a knock and have been taking it day-by-day. We'll see how we go," Jedinak said.

Postecoglou said he would be "given every chance" to recover.

"If he's not we'll bring in someone else to do the job."

Postecoglou named set pieces, direct free-kicks in particular, as the biggest threat to the Socceroos - and not feted midfielder Oman Abdulrahman.

Australia will deal with the talented 24-year-old "the same way they'll (UAE) contend with Tommy Rogic or Aaron Mooy or Mass Luongo", according to Postecoglou.

"We've got to be really wary about in and around the box," he said.

"They try and get free kicks and we've got to be disciplined in our approach to defending so we don't allow those things to happen."

Day-time temperatures in the UAE capital have soared to at least 43 degrees every day of the Socceroos' visit.

In the evening, the mercury remains well in excess of 30 degrees and the humidity swells, presenting the most challenging conditions.

Postecoglou won't let it be an excuse.

"There's no one better in the world than Aussies in dealing with this," he said, before confirming the team's upbeat attacking style will remain.

"If we do anything that adjusts we might as well play their game and they're better at their game than we are," he said.

"The conditions take care of tempo. There's certain limits the human body can go to."

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