We won't change the way we play, insists Juric

Striker Tomi Juric believes the Socceroos are "on the right track" but admits the odds are against their Confederations Cup survival after the 1-1 stalemate against Cameroon.

Tomi Juric

Socceroos striker Tomi Juric (left) and Cameroon's Sebastien Siani Source: Getty Images

Declaring Chile, whom Australia must beat on Sunday night to progress, as their "toughest challenge" yet, Juric is not deluding himself on the magnitude of what lies ahead in Moscow.

But the 25-year-old insisted the Socceroos won't compromise their footballing philosophy against the back-to-back Copa America champions - no matter what.

Feeling the bruises from a grinding 70-minute shift against the ultra-physical Indomitable Lions, Juric still also feels the love for a possession-based Socceroos style which has yet to produce dividends in Russia.

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With Australia now on the cusp of dropping out of sight behind Group B pacesetters Chile and Germany, Juric declared: "I don't see any reason why we should change for what's our biggest challenge yet.

"For me, they are the best side in this competition.

"For us as a team, our mind is to go as far as possible ... it's not about coming here to see what happens and enjoy the next three games.

"It's been about making an impact and stamping down our authority on how we are playing and really showing that to the rest of the world and to this competition.

"It's going to be tough against Chile.

"But I don't see it (one point from two games to date) as a failure ... as long as we are sticking to our principles and playing our kind of football.

"I would rather go down trying than not doing what we really need to do."



Despite stats of 19-5 in favour of Cameroon on shots on goal, and a number of escapes for Australia, Juric saw the draw "as a missed opportunity".

"We spoke before the game about this being a good chance for us, and I think we let it slip," he said.

"There was a lack of concentration at the end of the first half (for Cameroon's goal).

"It gave them that psychological edge going into the second half.

"If they didn't score that, we break them down in the second half and win the game from there.

"And that's what kept them alive and gave them that kind of edge and the hope.

"It made it tough for us to break them down."

Juric missed a golden chance himself to add to the goal he bagged in the 3-2 loss to Germany, firing over in the 49th minute from Mathew Leckie's cross.

He was a target of plenty of argy-bargy and even warned Serbian referee Millard Mazic beforehand, but to no avail.

"They were all the time on you, touching you," he added.

"Seeing the new video referee, I thought maybe they would look back and see something ... but obviously not."

Despite Australia's travails in Russia he believes the new 3-2-4-1 system can ultimately "work a dream".



"We just need that little bit of fine-tuning to take things a step further and make us a really good side," he maintained.

"It's the small details now that count.

"You could argue that we are a fairly inexperienced team but we don't want to look for excuses.

"It's up to us to pull our socks up and take it a step forward now.

"We went to wear opposition down and we want to do it well.

"It just gets frustrating when we don't keep the ball as well as we know we can."


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4 min read
Published 23 June 2017 at 8:50am
By Dave Lewis in St Petersburg