'No excuses' Socceroos roll up sleeves

The Socceroos might be missing a trio of stars for their World Cup qualifiers with Honduras but Bailey Wright believes they've never been stronger.

 

The staunch defender has hit the ground running in San Pedro Sula ahead of Saturday's opening match in the two-legged affair.

For many, it's a backs-to-the-wall tie, with an understrength Australia facing a formidable home side buoyed by a raucous crowd.

It's why veteran attacker Tim Cahill called the Central American match-up a tougher assignment than Australia's 2005 intercontinental playoff against Uruguay.

Wright takes a different tack, believing Ange Postecoglou's preparation has Australia peaking at the right moment.

"As a group, we're stronger than ever," he said.

"This is a great opportunity to qualify ... a lot of work has gone in to get us to this point. We'll do what we set out to do and that's qualify.

"The team has been pretty consistent. A few changes, a few ins and outs and people with injuries. That's just the way it goes.

"For us as a group, this is the strongest we've been, which is healthy."

The 22-man squad are now all in camp with the arrival of Nikita Rukavytsya and Alex Gersbach on Wednesday (AEDT).

Cahill made a brief appearance at training, stretching with teammates before walking laps in sneakers.



Tomi Juric, who scored in a 90-minute appearance for club side Luzern two days ago, also did light work in sneakers.

Jackson Irvine missed the session but his participation in Saturday's (AEDT) match is not in doubt.

Mile Jedinak is back in the fold but Mark Milligan, Mat Leckie (suspension) and Robbie Kruse (knee) won't be in Honduras, removing 170 caps worth of experience.

Wright believes less seasoned Socceroos can use the occasion to kick-start international careers.

The Socceroos are preparing for their crunch clash in Honduras. Pic: Getty

"Obviously (the three out are) a loss. They are big characters and big players," he said.

"(Mile's) a big boost for us, him coming back. He's a real leader and a great character.

"We've not just prepared 11 people or a squad of 23. We've got a squad of 40 ready to step in and do the job.

"When important players like that are injured or miss out through suspensions, it's another opportunity for someone else. That's how football works."

The "no excuses" approach extends to their training ground, the home of local side Real Espana.

It's a slow pitch, composed of different types of grass and similar to what they'll encounter at Estadio Olympico Metropolitano.

"Ideally you want to play on a nice pitch," Wright said. "(But) that's not the way it goes and it never does. We just get on with it."


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