Leckie: My hardest game ever

Aussie attacker Matthew Leckie says the Chile match was the hardest game of his career and the Socceroos are raring to upset in the Dutch in their next World Cup encounter.

Leckie was one of the Socceroos’ best in the defeat to La Roja and the team has had two rest days before the Holland match.

“A lot of us felt very sore after the game,” he said. “A lot of us were cramping. The conditions are tough. The speed of the game against Chile was very high and I think for a lot of us it was the hardest game we’ve ever played. For me it was. It’s very important that we get this time off and really regenerate the body.”

Leckie describe the team’s performance against Chile as good and that need to be confident when facing the Dutch.

“The problem was we just started slowly,” he said. “We always had it in us to play football and do well, unfortunately we started really slowly.

“We just need to be confident and show we can play football like we did for that 70 minutes. Chile is a world-class team and they couldn’t handle us at times. We exposed Chile a lot on the wings.

“I feel like in a World Cup anything can happen. There’s been a few upsets already with Costa Rica beating Uruguay, no-one expected that. And with Holland beating Spain. There’s three games in the group stage and anything can happen in those games. We’ll be prepared and hopefully we can get off to a good start.”

The 23-year old is likely to link with Ryan McGowan on the right flank after the injury to fullback Ivan Franjic.

“I felt that in the second half, near the end of the first half, me and him [Franjic] really started to dominate that right side,” Leckie said.

“Unfortunately he got injured straight after the break. But Ryan’s a great player as well. He’s played right back a number of times in his career and I think we also did well in the second half. We’ve been training with each other for a while now so we all understand the way we play so I’m sure me and Ryan will work well together as well.”

The Socceroos have had two draws and a win in their past three matches with the Oranje but the FSV Frankfurt winger believes those results won’t matter in Porto Alegre.

“The whole team’s almost totally changed from those times we’ve played Holland,” Leckie said.

“The game on Wednesday is going to be nothing to do with statistics. We’ll go out there with our game plan and hopefully we’ll play as well as we did for that 70 minutes against Chile.

“I think Holland will be quite an attacking game as well. They’ll probably go with a 4-3-3 formation which is very attacking. They’ve got a great front three team so we know they’re going to be dangerous.

“We’ll hit them in areas they won’t expect. Hopefully we’ll be clinical in the opportunities we get and put a few goals away.”