Neill - We'll win for Brad
Lucas Neill has pledged to lead his Australia team to victory against Germany to support Brad Jones.
By Mike Barton
Last Updated: 08/06/10 11:05am
Lucas Neill has pledged to lead his Australia team to victory against Germany as a sign of support for Brad Jones.
Jones was forced to leave the 23-man squad to return home following news that his four-year-old son had been diagnosed with leukaemia, which has rocked the squad's preparations for their opening game of the World Cup on Sunday, with the Middlesbrough keeper now back in his homeland.
The Socceroos' minds appeared to be elsewhere in a 3-1 defeat to the USA on Saturday, conceding three goals for the first time since coach Pim Verbeek took over as manager.
However Aussie captain Neill is confident that the sad news of Jones' departure would work the opposite way and help his team to beat group favourites Germany, allowing them to play with something to prove.
"That's actually galvanised the team again," said Neill.
"(It) gives us just that extra inspiration we needed to want to be successful."
He was however taking nothing for granted, given the Germans' illustrious history on the world's biggest stage, with three World Cups to their name.
"Germany are a superior team to Australia and clearly they're favourites," he added.
"Their record in World Cups suggest they are the most consistent team in world football.
"(So) if it's a draw, then it's a fantastic result. If we can cause an upset by winning the game, then we'll have shocked the world."