Australia manager Graham Arnold on Thursday revealed an inspirational message from Tottenham boss Ange Postecoglou has fuelled his side’s bid to shock England in the first ever Wembley clash between the countries.
Arnold asked Postecoglou and his fellow former Australia head coach Guus Hiddink to speak to his players in a bid to motivate the Socceroos ahead of Friday’s friendly in London.
Australia are heavy underdogs after beating England only once in seven meetings, a 3-1 victory at Upton Park in 2003.
They sit 23 spots below their fourth-placed hosts in the FIFA world rankings.
But Arnold insists his side will just have victory on their minds thanks to the stirring speech from Postecoglou, who has led Tottenham to the top of the Premier League in his first season since arriving from Celtic.
“The speeches that Ange said yesterday were very similar about what we’ve been saying for years with doing it for the kids in Australia, the nation and your family and people who are close by and the supporters,” Arnold told reporters.
“I know one thing is that they will run until they drop, the energy will be there and they’ll put in the performance of their lives.
“We aim to win. We’re not going out there to lose or draw the game, we’re going out there to win the game. It’s the culture that we bring.”
Australia’s most recent meeting with England saw the home side claim a 2-1 win at the Stadium of Light in 2016.
While Australia are looking to make history at Wembley, Arnold highlighted some of the challenges they face trying to grow the game back home.
Despite co-hosting the Women’s World Cup this year, where the Matildas got to the semi-finals, Arnold says the support Australian football receives does not compare well to other sports in the country.
“We don’t get anywhere near the help and resources of Australian rules football,” Arnold said.
“We see the Prime Minister and the government say they love coming out to watch the Socceroos and Matildas with scarves on but they must lose them when they go home.
“We don’t have a home of football. Whether you believe that or not, we don’t have a home.
“When the Socceroos come to Sydney to train, we have to go to a rugby league field where they remove the posts and put soccer posts up. That’s the truth.”
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