Australia in need of more composure after Germany loss - Ange Postecoglou
Australia coach Ange Postecoglou was puzzled to learn the reasons behind his side's lack of "composure" in a sluggish start at the Confederations Cup against Germany on Monday.
Germany opened the scoring in the fifth minute on their way to a 3-2 win, and for the opening half hour, Australia appeared lost against the Germans, and Postecoglou admitted the Socceroos could have been three or four down at half-time.
"In the first half we just couldn't get hold of it," Postecoglou said. "We'll analyse it and see whether it was something structural or nerves or composure."
But the coach held out hope that his side could improve ahead of their next game against Cameroon.
"The only way you can [improve] is to keep exposing them to this level," he said. "Eventually they grow as footballers. You can't prepare them for what they're going to face out there.
"The only way to do that is by playing at this level against the very best and hopefully that composure comes."
A personnel change at the break seemed to help Australia, as Massimo Luongo, who gave away a penalty on a night to forget, was substituted for Robbie Kruse, allowing Aaron Mooy to sit deeper and have more time on the ball.
Postecoglou said he also encouraged his team to remember their pregame confidence.
"As much as you try and set up the team to be brave in terms of where we want to defend, it's human nature that we fell back a little bit and probably gave them a little bit too much room and respect," he said.
"In the second half we said 'let's stick to our principles. Let's defend a little higher up the park as we planned to do and get our wide players right up into their back four. It seemed to work better."
Kruse admitted that Germany were still a good side despite testing out an experimental lineup with a look to the future.
"They were very good in the first half. They're a great team ... abundant in Bundesliga stars and European stars," Kruse said. "We don't know why the second half we were so good compared with the first half.
"We're in a competition out here and the next game if we don't get three points it's all over."
Information from Australian Associated Press was used in this report.