Emerton ready to run on air
Brett Emerton insists Australia will not be jaded for their crunch clash against Serbia on Wednesday.
Last Updated: 22/06/10 11:51am
Brett Emerton insists Australia will not be jaded despite being reduced to 10 men in their opening two World Cup games when they take on Serbia on Wednesday.
The Socceroos midfielder does not believe his side will struggle physically in their final Group D game even though Tim Cahill and Harry Kewell saw red against Germany and Ghana respectively.
Those dismissals have seriously dented their chances of reaching the knock-out stages in South Africa and they head into the Serbia fixture needing a win and either Ghana to beat Germany, or Germany to beat Ghana by a big enough margin for Australia to turn around a five-goal difference on the Black Stars.
But Emerton believes his team can reach the last 16 stage if they can keep their discipline for 90 minutes.
"If we can play a game with 11 men, we will probably feel like we're running on air," joked the Blackburn Rovers performer.
"I think physically the team's in very good shape, all the boys have worked exceptionally hard coming into this World Cup, so I can't see that being a problem."
On a psychological level, Emerton said the Socceroos are more motivated than ever having, in their opinion, endured some rough justice in the tournament so far.
"We know we haven't got the rub of the green, which is disappointing, we've played the majority of this World Cup with 10 men so far and both have been very, very harsh red cards," he added.
"It's disappointing to lose Harry, but we get Tim back and after our good performance against Ghana, we should go into this match full of confidence."
Emerton said the possibility the Socceroos will need several goals in the match will not dramatically alter how they approach the game.
"We won't go gung-ho, we will still have a strategic plan and obviously, we'll be looking to win the game and hopefully Ghana can come up with an upset against Germany," he said.
"I've done the calculations plenty of times. We've all talked about the different scenarios. It's still possible. Germany could beat Ghana by three or four and that means we can beat the Serbs by one or two. It's still mathematically possible and we'll give it our best shot.
"If we get the win, we can walk away with our heads held high."