Pim Verbeek insists he has had more difficult weeks with Australia during his two-and-a-half years in charge and is confident of a strong reaction from his players when they come up against Ghana in their 2010 FIFA World Cup™ encounter tomorrow.
The Socceroos were thrashed 4-0 by Germany on Sunday in a dismal opening to their campaign and now face a must-win encounter in Rustenburg. They currently sit bottom of Group D, but Serbia's defeat of Germany earlier today has thrown the race for the top two places wide open.
"We have had several training sessions this week and the players reacted very well to the loss against Germany," the coach said. "We all know the situation now. The only thing we can do is win against Ghana tomorrow. I expect a good reaction from the players and have confidence they will do everything to get the three points."
The Dutchman claims there were occasions during the South Africa 2010 qualifying campaign that more than matched the difficulty of the past six days. He also revealed they have not done anything differently to counter what happened in Durban, with their preparations following the usual course.
Verbeek continued: "I think we had more difficult weeks during our World Cup qualification, to be honest. After we lost against Germany, we knew what we had to do and that's winning against Ghana. So, of course it's the World Cup, of course you have to win games.
"We've done everything like we've done in the last three-and-a-half weeks since we started our training camps," he added. "We haven't changed anything. Tactically we've worked on what we had to and if we can win against Ghana, everyone will be back on three points and it's open again."
Tim Cahill, who is suspended for the game after his red card against Germany, misses out, along with Vince Grella (knee), but Harry Kewell is fully fit for the first time and will be gunning for a place.
Verbeek said: "It's clear that a player with the quality of Tim will be missed. He is a very important player for us, but when you go to the World Cup you take 23 players. So the other players will have to do what he always does - score goals."