Schwarzer: Defeating Oman is a must
By Football News
Mark Schwarzer has described Australia's World Cup qualifier against Oman on Tuesday as their 'toughest game to date'.
Australia are second in the group, but only just - they are ahead of Oman and Iraq on goal difference and a point in front of Jordan.
With regular skipper Lucas Neill suspended, Fulham's Schwarzer will wear the captain's armband for the crucial clash at ANZ Stadium.
"It is great to be playing back home in Australia and I'm confident we'll hit the ground running," Schwarzer said on Monday.
"We need to win the game, we all know that.
"We all know how important the game is and we know we need to pick up three points."
Coach Holger Osieck also got straight to the point, emphasising the importance of a win.
"We don't need to talk around the subject - it's a game that we have to win and we go into it in order to win," he said.
"It's really a crucial one for us in our qualifying campaign."
Both Schwarzer and Osieck said the week-long preparation has been extremely valuable, with the players able to spend plenty of time together both on and off the field.
Osieck also said he has decided who will replace Neill in defence, but was reluctant to give anything away.
"In my mind, yes, I have settled on the pairing," Osieck said.
"Knowing that Lucas wouldn't be available for tomorrow, I've already worked on this and I'm pretty sure I'm going to have a good pairing in central defence."
Meanwhile, Oman are happy to go into the match as underdogs.
Coach Paul Le Guen says Australia will be under pressure to get a result, which could free up his team to spring a surprise on the hosts.
"Once again they (Australia) will be favourites, we will be outsiders," Le Guen said.
"But we will try our best."