Australia worried about time-wasting at Asian Cup

The Socceroos are expecting to face two determined, defensive sides when they play Kuwait and then Oman in Group A, although fellow regional powerhouses South Korea in the final game are likely to be a different proposition.

Tipped for a starring role as one of the playmakers in Ange Postecoglou’s side, Troisi is braced for the task of breaking down stubborn defences, who will take any opportunity they can to frustrate the men in green and gold.

“We know that, it’s going to happen quite a bit this tournament,” he said.

“There is a lot time-wasting going on and we want to get the ball on the pitch as much as possible.”

Asked if match officials could favour the hosts by clamping down on time-wasting directed against the Socceroos, Troisi said: “I hope so.

“We had a chat with them yesterday actually, we made it quite clear to them and they made it quite clear to us, they’re aware of it, we’re aware of it and hopefully it gets cut out.”

The Zulte Waregem midfielder also rejected suggestions Postecoglou’s men might have to temper their aggressive approach against Asian opponents, who have a reputation – deserved or not – for going down easily under physical contact.

“We’re not going to change the way we play,” he said.

“Obviously we have to be smart, be careful, understand the competition. But we’re definitely going to go all-out, play at our tempo, be physical and take it to them, for sure.”

Kuwait meanwhile go into the match with head coach Nabil Maaloul having been in the top job for barely a month following the dismissal of Jorvan Vieira, who was sacked after an early exit from the Gulf Cup.

“He’s had a short stint with the side,” Matthew Spiranovic said.

“I’m not sure what effect that’ll have on the team.”

Mark Bresciano, who has played against an El Jaish team coached by Maaloul in the Qatar Stars League, expects Kuwait to receive a boost from the new appointment, but Spiranovic is not so sure.

“Yeah, it could go both ways,” he said.
“Every time a new coach comes in the players are very motivated to put in a good performance and show what they’re capable of.

“At the same time when you come in for a short period of time it’s hard to get settled. Players are probably still adapting to the coach’s philosophy. There’s good and bad points there.”

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