Bert van Marwijk has a strong feeling who’ll make the cut for next month’s World Cup in Russia.Socceroos coach Bert van Marwijk already has a strong feeling who will make the cut when he shaves down his World Cup squad next week.
The Dutchman will slash his provisional 32-man squad to 26 ahead of an intense training camp in Turkey, where he’ll name his final group of 23 on June 3.
“I should be lying if I didn’t say that maybe in head are 26 or 27 players,” van Marwijk said.
“Every coach has the same feeling. There are always players you are doubting a little bit, but there’s also a lot of players who you’re sure.”
Many in van Marwijk’s initial squad make up the same core group that went through much of the qualifying process under predecessor Ange Postecoglou.
Appointed in January for the whirlwind tenure before handing over to Graham Arnold, he hasn’t had the luxury of scouting alternatives, though did spring a surprise by picking uncapped Croatia-based right-back Fran Karacic.
He has, though, sought wisdom about the n game and its players from former Melbourne City coach John van ‘t Schip and had plans to speak with Han Berger.
By necessity it’s been a clinical, results-based approach for the former Holland and Saudi Arabia manager, who “likes to play fast football” but “will not hesitate to make decisions in games were I think I can win another way.”
He will use the three weeks at the Turkey base – taking in two friendlies against the Czech Republic and Hungary – to instil his message and attempt to get his players in the best physical shape possible before their first group match against France on June 16.
How far the Socceroos can go is a question van Marwijk isn’t willing to address with anyone let alone his squad, who have already been told talk about other group opponents Denmark and Peru is off limits until the France game is done.
“I only think about the first game, that’s for me the most important,” he said.
“I already told the players I don’t want to hear anything about the other games, about what’s happening after.
“It’s not the easiest game … France is one of the best teams in the world – maybe the best – so they have a big chance to become world champions.
“Under normal circumstances when you play 10 times against France maybe you lose 9-9.5 times.
“I want to create a situation that it’s not 9-9.5, it’s maybe six or seven, then you have a chance.”