Football 1 year ago

Socceroos to come back stronger: Milligan

  • Socceroos to come back stronger: Milligan

    MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 07: Mark Milligan and Aaron Mooy of the Socceroos look on during the national anthems during the International Friendly match between the Australian Socceroos and Greece at Etihad Stadium on June 7, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

Midfielder Mark Milligan has faith the Socceroos will rebound from their 2-1 loss to Greece in stronger shape for September's World Cup qualifiers.

Milligan admitted the national team did nothing to help themselves against a busy Greece outfit that went up two goals inside 21 minutes at Etihad Stadium on Tuesday night.

While Michael Skibbe's visitors were much improved from Saturday's first friendly - a 1-0 last-gasp Socceroos win - Australia could not recover from a poor first half highlighted by Giannis Maniatis' wonder goal from inside his own half.

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That came after Greece's opener, scored on the counter-attack after Milligan was dispossessed in midfield.

"We weren't executing as well as well as we usually do," Milligan said.

"Maybe we were a little bit sluggish as well (which) helped them.

"I can't take anything away from them, in the first half, in the midfield they had the pressure there on us."

Milligan agreed with coach Ange Postecoglou that Greece's attempts to slow the game down sidetracked a young Socceroos line-up from their usual high-tempo style.

"We need to know that we have to be full throttle all the time," the former Melbourne Victory captain said.

"We have to be 100 per cent, we have to execute better than what we did.

"We had a game plan and we let ourselves down."

But the 30-year-old Baniyas player took consolation from the fact it had happened in a friendly - not the Socceroos' first Russia 2018 qualifier against Iraq on September 1.

"The thing for us now is we have a couple of months to sit on this before we do come together for the World Cup qualifiers," Milligan said.

"But when we fall a little bit short we seem to bounce back stronger, and I'm sure this time will be no different."

Tuesday night's captain Tim Cahill was "100 per cent" happy with where the team is at.

"I'm not going to bat an eyelid over the game," the veteran striker said.

"Greece set out well. When you play games like this consecutively they are obviously going to change their style.

"We know what the solution is ... we'll look at it and address it at the next camp, but overall it's been a good two games."

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