Australia coach Bert van Marwijk has challenged his players to have the “guts” to believe they can cause a massive World Cup shock by beating trophy contenders France in Kazan on Saturday.
Van Marwijk replaced Ange Postecoglou in January and has since helped instill a disciplined, attack-minded approach in a bid to achieve their objective of “surviving the first round”.
Although the 65-year-old Dutchman admitted Australia would only normally have a ten percent chance of beating the Euro 2016 finalists, he is dreaming big on the eve of their lunchtime Group C clash.
And he’s challenged his players to do the same.
“We know we’re playing one of the best countries in the world, It’s not always the best players who win prizes. We like to be the best team and we have a lot of discipline in the way we play.
We also have to have guts to believe in something. What is very important tomorrow is for us to be ourselves.” He said.
In a group also containing Peru and Denmark, Australia fancy their chances of qualifying for the last 16, a feat they achieved once before, in 2006, with another Dutch coach at the helm in Guus Hiddink.
Four years after that achievement, van Marwijk was coach of the Netherlands side that reached the World Cup final, only to succumb 1-0 to Spain in extra time.