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 By AAP

Postecoglou 'would back Australia against anybody' ahead of playoff

Jason Dasey and John Wilkinson assess Australia's keys to defeating Honduras and advancing to the 2018 World Cup.
The FC panel caution Australia not to underestimate a gritty Honduras side in the intercontinental playoff.
Jason Dasey and David Mitchell assess what Australia must do differently in their upcoming World Cup playoff in November.

Australia coach Ange Postecoglou has played down the idea that Honduras hold all the cards ahead of their World Cup qualifying duel next month.

Postecoglou will lead his team to the Central American nation as part of a crunch home-and-away clash that will send one side to next year's tournament in Russia.

And there are certainly plenty of challenges confronting the Socceroos including hot and humid conditions.

The Socceroos have been asked to play in the afternoon -- not at night as might be expected -- and all the while, be subject to fervent support by local fans, but Postecoglou is fine with that.

In keeping with his defiant mindset, the Asian Cup winner declared both himself and the team up for the challenge.

"It's going to be passionate. It's going to be hostile. But it's a World Cup. It's what you want," he said.

"We're not going there for an opera."

Ange Postecoglou became Australia coach in 2013.

Postecoglou said Australia's investment in rehabilitation, sports science, psychology and all-around planning should pay a dividend.

"We are the best organised national team in the world. I would back us against anybody," he said.

"It's an advantage for us.

"We've faced some pretty challenging conditions all the way through this World Cup campaign.

"While people are fussing on what we're going to face over there, what they're not thinking about is that trip back from there is going to be tough.

"I think it will be an advantage for us ... in terms of the physical and psychological preparation I reckon we'll be well ahead of the opposition."

Postecoglou said his unconditional focus was on the Honduras matches amid speculation he was set to quit the Socceroos coaching role immediately afterwards -- whether Australia progressed to the World Cup or not.

"I'm not going to go out there and start thinking about what happens after these two games because they're just too important," he said.

"This is the greatest honour you could possibly have.

"All the other stuff -- whether it's criticism over the way the team's playing or me or what I'm going to do -- is just noise that doesn't infiltrate me and certainly it doesn't infiltrate the camp."

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