JACKSON Irvine insists it’s far too early to write off the Socceroos World Cup campaign following Saturday’s 4-1 thrashing by Norway in Oslo. Irvine scored Australia’s only goal on a chastening night for new coach Bert van Marwijk and was one of the few players to emerge with any credit from the Ullevaal Stadium.
The Norwegians are ranked 20 places below the Socceroos, who sit 37th in the FIFA standings, but dominated the game, leaving van Marwijk with plenty to ponder from his first match in charge.
Irvine said criticism of the team’s performance was warranted but it was unfair to expect results under the new coach after just three full training sessions. “People are kidding themselves if they thought it was going to be click your fingers and it’s all going to come together after just four days together,” Irvine said.
“We need to focus on the right things every day.
“This time now is crucial and in the first few days we are having to take in what the new manager wants to do.
“The more time we spend together with him and the staff the clearer those messages will become. We just have to keep working.”
The Socceroos play Colombia on Tuesday in London in what will be step up in class from what they faced in Oslo.
Ominously for van Marwijk’s side the South Americans came from 2-0 down to beat a powerful France team 3-2 on Friday in Paris.
In attack they boast Bayern Munich front man James Rodriquez, who won the Golden Boot in the 2014 World Cup and prolific Monaco striker Radamel Falcao. The Socceroos face France in their opening match in Russia on June 16 and will spend a month in camp in Turkey where van Marwijk and his staff will fine tune their preparations Irvine believes that should be when the team is judged, not after his first match in charge.
“(The camp’s) going to be crucial,” he said.
“That’s the thing with these international week windows, you just don’t have time.
“He doesn’t want to overload us with stuff going into games. It’s going to be a vital period, working every day to ingrain those details and messages into us.
“We will have just keep learning day by day. The staff have been excellent and they have told us they have confidence we can improve and get better.”