Hiddink sets about sorting out defence - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Hiddink sets about sorting out defence

By Guy Hand 16/08/2005 06:19:37 PM Comments (0)

New coach Guus Hiddink has started his salvage operation on Australia's World Cup campaign by trying to fix the holes in the Socceroos' leaky defence.

Hiddink has made the team's defensive structure his top priority on the first full day of the Socceroos' training camp in The Netherlands.

"Lots of working on the defence, getting the structure of the defence right, getting the patterns of play right," was how veteran Socceroos defender Stan Lazaridis described the opening day of the four-day camp in the Dutch town of Hoenderloo.

Hiddink is an afficionado of defending and attacking as a team - a system he used to great effect in getting South Korea to the 2002 World Cup semi-finals.

And according to the Socceroos, he appears to be following a similar path in trying to guide Australia to the 2006 World Cup finals, working on getting the whole team to defend - not just the backline.

"Once we've got the defensive shape, then it's all about pressure as a unit," Socceroos attacker Ahmad Elrich said.

"It's not just the back-four, it's the strikers and midfielders working together in the right positions and all defending.

"He has told us we need to get 200 miles east of where we are at the moment - that's Germany where the World Cup finals are."

The Socceroos have found themselves the centre of media attention in Holland thanks to former Dutch national coach Hiddink's involvement.

Elrich said Dutch media had been at both sessions on the opening day - such is the interest in Hiddink, who also coaches Holland's leading club side PSV Eindhoven.

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