Oman national team coach Claude Le Roy has admitted to having plenty of respect for the Australian team.
The experienced French tactician, who has had great success with Cameroon, Senegal and more recently Ghana, is in Melbourne to guide his side in an Asian Cup qualifier against the Socceroos.
Le Roy said the Australians would be a formidable opponent and insisted they have not reached their status of number 14 in the world by fluke.
“We have a lot of respect for this Australian team,” the Gulf Cup-winning manager said at a press conference yesterday.
“They have gone through some difficult World Cup qualification games without much difficulty - eight games, six victories and two draws.
“They are not 14 in the world by chance and we know they have a lot of quality, a lot of good players.
“They have (Tim) Cahill, (Josh) Kennedy, (Harry) Kewell, (Jason) Culina, (Lucas) Neill, (Craig) Moore, (Mark) Schwarzer, all these players.
“They are very important players; tactical, quality players.
“We know that this game will be very tough for us but we are in a good mood and we have played a lot of good games.”
The Omanis game plan has apparently already been exposed by certain sections of the media but Le Roy refused to buy into the counter attack philosophy.
“We try to play our football normally, no matter if it’s defensive or offensive,” he added.
“If they are attacking we have to defend a lot, if we can create something every time it’s possible we create.
“My philosophy of football - it’s not to play everybody behind (the ball).”