Serbia coach Radomir Antic is backing his players to make history tomorrow but claims they are under no pressure.
Antic's side can reach the second round of the FIFA World Cup™ for the first time if they beat Australia in their final Group D game in Nelspruit. A draw might even be sufficient for the Serbians, who exited after the group stage four years ago, depending on the outcome of Ghana's clash with Germany in Johannesburg.
Antic, the veteran former Barcelona and Real Madrid coach, said: "We know that we have an opportunity of historical significance tomorrow and we will try to do our best. I would not like to put any additional pressure on my boys by saying they have to, but when I say I believe in my team, I say it quite truthfully. I am not just saying it.
"I am optimistic because I know how my boys have performed during their last three training sessions - these were actually the best three sessions ever. This shows their spirit and now we have an opportunity to show it."
We know that we have an opportunity of historical significance.
Serbia are buoyant after bouncing back from their opening loss to Ghana with a shock 1-0 win over Germany in Port Elizabeth last Friday. One problem for the Serbians, looking ahead, is that six of their squad are on yellow cards but Antic's confidence is not tempered.
The 61-year-old added: "I know my line-up. I have tried to have a balance in my team and I think in the previous game showed I was right in this approach. When I said the last three trainings were the best, I meant each one of the players did his best. That is why I do not think we will have any problems tomorrow with rhythm, shape, passing. I am really confident and in a very realistic manner."
Antic, who will have Aleksandar Lukovic available again after suspension, has also done his homework on Australia. The Socceroos have collected just one point from their two games and need to win comfortably to have any hope of progressing. Their task is a daunting one but Antic does not expect them to give in easily.
The former Luton defender said: "We know how they have played, we have examined their game in detail and we have enough information. I said that they have a great spirit and I am sure tomorrow they will fight with great purpose.
"They have shown they have a solid and stable team and I do not expect them to change their way of playing. They have a lot of potential but always pay attention to detail when preparing. We know how they work and we know what we need to do, but it is a game where both sides will be fighting to get to the round of 16."
Serbia are currently third in Group D but can finish top if events unfold in their favour. Antic, however, does not know if he wants to be kept in touch with events at Soccer City or not. "Honestly we haven't thought about that," he said. "We will see how things go tomorrow."