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Hull crisis deepens with Bruce exit

Hull City

Brazil thumping no problem: Zico

Iraq coach Zico says his players have not had their confidence dented by their heavy loss to Brazil before Tuesday's (Wed AM AEDT) World Cup qualifier against Australia in Doha.

The South American team demolished world No.80 Iraq 6-0 in a friendly in Sweden on Friday night.

"The result is not a problem, we have not lost any confidence," Zico said.

"It was only a friendly. We did not go in with any planning."

Australia and Iraq have enjoyed very different preparations for the Grand Hamad Stadium clash in Qatar.

While Iraq made the journey back from northern Europe, the Socceroos have spent the past week training at Doha's state of the art Sports City.

Zico, who claimed he has not been paid by Iraq's football federation for five months, said the decision to schedule the match against his compatriots had lost him two days of training.

The former star player expected the Socceroos to take an aerial route to goal and had prepared his men for a deluge of crosses.

"Yes, Australia is strong and (good at) the set plays," he said.

"We have been training very well and hopefully they do not let in goals."

The match is being played at a neutral venue because of ongoing security concerns in Iraq.

Zico said his team had a similar problem to Australia in terms of trying to bring along the next generation of players.

He opted for a more youthful lineup last month that resulted in a 1-0 loss to group frontrunners Japan at Saitama Stadium.

Zico, who was in charge of Japan during Australia's memorable 3-1 win over the Blue Samurai at the 2006 World Cup, said he was keen to turn the tables on the Socceroos.

"I hope to beat Australia, because I lose to them many times," he said with a laugh.


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