Underdogs Jordan will put up a fight: Redknapp

Jordan's interim coach Harry Redknapp (in blue) during a training session ahead of their World Cup qualifier against Australia at Allianz Stadium in Sydney. His team trail the Socceroos by two points.
Jordan's interim coach Harry Redknapp (in blue) during a training session ahead of their World Cup qualifier against Australia at Allianz Stadium in Sydney. His team trail the Socceroos by two points. PHOTO: EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY

SYDNEY • Harry Redknapp admits that Jordan are the underdogs going into today's World Cup qualifier against Australia but believes they have what it takes to win in Sydney.

The former Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham manager began his interim Jordan stint with an 8-0 win against Bangladesh in Amman last Thursday.

But the Englishman, who has more than 30 years of experience in football management, said playing Australia - who lead their group by two points from Jordan (16) - would be tough.

"We are underdogs, but underdogs with a real fighting chance," he told a pre-match press conference in Sydney yesterday.

"If I don't think it's possible (to win) I may as well go home today. I have to believe that we have a chance of winning."

A win is key for Jordan, with only the eight group winners and the four best-performing second-placed teams reaching the third round of World Cup qualifying.

Australia's coach Ange Postecoglou has dismissed revenge as a motivation for the Asian champions.

After thrashing Tajikistan 7-0 on Thursday, the Socceroos need only a draw from their final Group B fixture to progress to the third stage of Asian qualifying, from which four countries will secure tickets to Russia in 2018.

The Jordanians inflicted the only defeat of the campaign so far on Australia with a 2-0 win in Amman last October.

Postecoglou had previously said that avenging that defeat would be a spur at the Sydney Football Stadium but the grumpy Australia coach performed an about-turn yesterday.

"It's not about revenge, it's about finishing strongly," he said.

"If we win, it's not going to erase what happened in Jordan, that's not the way football works.

"Revenge is best left to the movies, this is real life.

"We just want to finish this group off strongly, I think we've got stronger throughout this group and we want to finish it off tomorrow night."

Postecoglou added that, whatever line-up Jordan put out, his side would be able to break them down.

"We'll back ourselves against any defence," he said.

"If Jordan sit back, it'll make it harder for us but nothing we haven't faced before, nothing we haven't overcome before."

Postecoglou did not think Redknapp's presence would make much difference.

"I don't think we'll see anything remarkably different, he's only had a few days with them," said Australia's manager.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 29, 2016, with the headline 'Underdogs Jordan will put up a fight: Redknapp'. Print Edition | Subscribe