Gustavsson backed to deliver for Matildas

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With a year to go until the Women's World Cup, Football Australia chief executive James Johnson says he's not nervous about the Matildas' direction under Tony Gustavsson.

Wednesday marked the start of a 365-day countdown until the opening game of the 2023 tournament which is jointly-hosted by Australia and New Zealand.

The Matildas will be hoping that home advantage can help them better their best World Cup finish (quarter-finals) but over the last 12 months of Gustavsson's reign there has been growing concern.

The Swede's win rate is 33 per cent and the Matildas have won just one of 16 games against sides currently ranked in FIFA's top 20.

Compounding that ugly record is the calamitous Asian Cup quarter-final exit at the hands of South Korea in January and a 7-0 friendly loss to Spain last month - the country's biggest defeat since 1997.

Johnson, however, said Gustavsson was the man to turn it around.

"It's his direct experience (which gives us confidence)," Johnson told AAP.

"TG has won World Cups and Olympics (as an assistant coach).

"If you look at the cycle leading into France 2019, the US went through a lot of changes and played similar tactics to what TG is implementing at the moment.

"I don't think we need to get nervous about anything at this stage.

"He's very experienced, so that gives us comfort, because he's been there before."

The Spain team that inflicted the big defeat on the Matildas were preparing for the Euros while Australia were missing the likes of Sam Kerr, Caitilin Foord and Kyah Simon.

FA cited load management as reason for the absences of Kerr, Foord and Simon and other European-based players from the tour which also included a fortuitous 1-1 draw with Portugal.

While the squad had an experimental feel, Tameka Yallop, Emily van Egmond and Clare Polkinghorne - each of whom boast more than 100 international caps - Katrina Gorry and Emily Gielnik all played in the heavy Spain loss.

"Are we happy with the result? No. But you will lose matches if you're playing one of the world's top teams," Johnson said.

"That was no surprise, but we'd obviously like to see some good results leading into the World Cup."

Johnson said it was Gustavsson's decision to rest some of Australia's big-hitting European-based players for June's friendlies with Spain and Portugal after flying many of them back to Canberra and Townsville for friendlies against New Zealand in April.

"I understand looking at that and saying: 'why would you play a weaker team against Spain and a stronger one against New Zealand?'," Johnson said.

"That's a perfectly good question and that's something for TG to answer.

"I think the answer probably lies in not who the teams were and rather when those games were played."

The Matildas will face reigning Olympic gold medallists Canada in two home friendlies in September.

Gustavsson is expected to relocate from Sweden to Australia by the end of next month ahead of the World Cup.

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