Hull City

Irvine: No Room For Complacency In Opening Qualifier

10 September 2019
Jackson Irvine wants Australia to be relentless and ruthless in both boxes as they look to kick-off their 2022 World Cup qualifying campaign on a positive note against Kuwait this afternoon.

Irvine and his international team-mates begin their quest to secure a spot in Qatar in three years’ time at the Al Kuwait Sports Club Stadium (KO 4.30pm UK time).

The Socceroos registered a comfortable 4-0 friendly win over Kuwait back in October last year, but the Tigers’ midfield man insists his nation can’t afford to be complacent going into the match against the world’s 156th-ranked side.

“We know we generally have more possession in the qualifying campaigns, so it’s about being ruthless in front of goal and ruthless in both boxes, and not letting them get something to hold onto,” he told Australian media ahead of the game.

“We just have to just focus on our own game plan, both defensively and in an attacking sense. If we can do that we know we can cause any team problems.”

Graham Arnold’s squad have enjoyed a week-long training camp in Dubai in the build-up to the game in a bid to acclimatise to the high temperatures awaiting them in Kuwait City and, although Irvine accepts conditions will be tough, the 26-year-old insists the Socceroos must find a way to adapt.

“Speaking to the boys we were talking about playing in the UAE in the last campaign, in Saudi Arabia and playing in high 30s lows 40s temperatures, it is something totally different for us playing in the UK or Europe, but you just have to adapt and do as best we can,” he added.

“The conditions will always play a part that’s for sure. You just have to deal with it and try not to use it as an excuse. It’s just a fact of playing in Asia.”