Socceroos players ready to refocus for Denmark clash


DOHA: How do you come down from an emotional high like that? The good news for reporters and fans alike is we don’t have to.

The players don’t have that luxury, as Jamie Maclaren explained after the match.

“We’re not going to get too carried away – the lid’s on,” said Maclaren, who came on in the second half.

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Like most of the squad, he was just a boy when the Socceroos last won a game at the World Cup. 

“I remember watching both those wins very well, so to be a part of it is obviously history – but knowing what is probably happening in Australia right now, we want this game to grow and I know there will be some scenes when Dukey scored and once the ref blew the final whistle.

“Hopefully the whole country are proud of us. We’re just some honest blokes that want to work hard for our country – we’re so proud and I hope you guys could see the determination that we had today.”

It’s a difficult juxtaposition for the Socceroos right now – to enjoy such a momentous win but to be able to reset and prepare for an even more important game on Thursday morning.

“We let it all soak in today, handle all our emotions however we handle them, and then tomorrow we wake up and it’s a new session and we go from there,” Riley McGree said.

“Definitely a few Bud Zeroes,” he joked. 

Jackson Irvine said the monumental nature of their success had not been wasted on him.

‘I’m trying to like let it bubble under the surface a little bit,” he said.

“We’ve got to acknowledge what we did today and what a big deal was in being a part of a performance like that and how big that is for me and how much it means everybody else but we’ve got to let it simmer and let it fire us again in four days’ time.”

Milos Degenek gave reporters some inspiring quotes before the game, and said that while today was monumental, there was so much more to do. 

“The good thing is that there’s four days between games, so all these emotions calm down – the best thing is the turnaround, prepare for the next game and look forward to Denmark.”

Awer Mabil was another who came on in the second half with a simple objective – either score a goal, or protect the lead – and said he’ll never forget being out there when the final whistle went. 

“I’m a competitor, we’re all competitors, but sometimes we have to be in the moment,” he said.

“Today hasn’t kicked in yet but it will kick in – we still have a job to do and we’re focusing on that.” 

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