• Socceroos will progress without me: Postecoglou

    Ange Postecoglou may not have known what his future was going to be when he sensationally quit as Socceroos coach after securing Australia’s qualification for the World Cup following those nerve-racking play-offs against Honduras last November.

    But the former Australia boss, who is preparing to take charge of J-League club Yokohama Marinos in the new Japanese season, has a definite idea where he expects his old team to go: up.

    “I think we have created a really good team that plays football a certain way, and I think the best is ahead for that team because it’s a generation that is really only beginning to find their feet [at club and international level[,” Postecoglou says.

    He was speaking on a video released to the media by the City Football Group, part-owners of his new club, following a visit to the company’s main campus in Manchester.

    Postecoglou briefly met with Pep Guardiola, the Manchester City boss, and held talks with Brian Marwood, the City football executive who first contacted him about taking the job in Yokohama after his departure from the Australia position last November.

    Postecoglou said the thing that was most exciting him about the next phase of his career was the chance to work with Japanese players. They had always impressed him when he was coaching against the Blue Samurai at age group team level and in World Cup qualifiers with the senior team.

    “I rate them very highly. We have competed against them for a number of years at senior level and when I was Australian youth coach.”

    He said the “opportunity to work with them and hopefully improve them” to the point where they might move on to bigger clubs was particularly attractive.

    Describing his decision – baffling to many – to walk away from Australia with the holy grail of another World Cup campaign in touching distance as a “leap of faith”, Postecoglou said he had “wanted to test myself and see what was out there”.

    “I was prepared to be a little bit patient and see what opportunities [arose]. Pretty quickly Brian Marwood got in touch with me. I trust him, he knows I have some pretty firm views on the game. There’s trust there between me and Brian.”

    He was well aware of how Yokohama played because one of the defenders who was a regular in his squads, Milos Degenek, plays for them and he had watched many of their games to monitor his form.

    “There will be a shift in the way we play our football. We will be a bit more aggressive in the way we attack teams,” Postecoglou said when asked about his approach with his new Japanese charges, but he said there were no specific plans to recruit any of his former Socceroo charges.

    This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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