CURTIS GOOD is adamant Australia will not attempt to “park the bus” during the World Cup finals despite being drawn in a daunting group that also features Spain, Holland and Chile.
The Australian press have speculated that head coach Ange Postecoglou will name an ultra-defensive line-up in Brazil, but Good does not expect his side to adopt a negative approach despite the quality of the opponents they will be facing.
“Obviously they have looked at us and see it as three points, but we are used to being underdogs at times,” said Good, who is confident of proving his fitness despite suffering a hip flexor problem in the latter stages of last season. “I think we will cope fine as long as we stick together.
“We want to try and play football, not just go there and park the bus. It’s always natural for teams to target defences, but I think we will be fine.”
READING striker Pavel Pogrebnyak has been cut from Russia’s World Cup squad after head coach Fabio Capello trimmed his provisional 30-man line-up.
Pogrebnyak, who has never appeared for Russia under Capello, was one of the players tipped to be axed, and the 30-year-old does not even appear on a new standby list.
Russia will appear in Group H in Brazil alongside Belgium, South Korea and Algeria.
URUGUAY skipper Diego Lugano claims his side are more worried about their opening World Cup fixture against Costa Rica than facing England or Italy.
Uruguay kick off their World Cup campaign against unfancied Costa Rica three hours before England face Italy on June 14, and West Brom’s Lugano said: “It is the first one, which is obviously always the most difficult for us.
“It is the game where we should obtain the three points, but surely our opponents are probably super-motivated for this first game against Uruguay.”
LIONEL MESSI is tipped to be one of the stars of this summer’s World Cup, and the Argentina striker yesterday committed his long-term future to Barcelona by agreeing a new deal.
Barca officials are yet to release details about the length of the new contract, but is likely to run beyond 2018, when Messi’s previous deal, which was only agreed in February 2013, was due to expire.
Messi failed to live up to his billing during the last World Cup in South Africa, but goes into this summer’s tournament on the back of another impressive La Liga season that has seen him score 41 goals in 43 games.