Midfielder Mark Milligan believes the hot conditions in Brisbane didn’t slow down the Socceroos on Saturday night or thwart their up-tempo game plan despite the loss to South Korea.
Australia was upset by the Taeguk Warriors 1-0 and now finish second in Group A.
It was 32 degrees at Suncorp Stadium at kick-off with strong humidity, and the Socceroos will face China on Thursday in similar conditions.
“It actually wasn’t as hot as I thought it was going to be,” Milligan told media after the game.
“I think obviously it was hot but I don’t think it took away from the game too much.
“We still, both sides, put in a good shift. I think the quality of the game was still decent considering.
“It’s been a little while since I’ve played in that kind of heat. Obviously it takes a bit out of you.
“I lost a couple of extra kilos compared to what I normally lose so that’s one thing we’ve been very good at this tournament, our medical staff, our sports science team.
“They will be straight on to it and we’ll have the best possible recovery.”
Milligan said the defeat to South Korea came down to the Socceroos not taking their chances.
“We started a little bit slowly,” he said.
“I think once we kicked into gear we played some decent stuff. We still did things the way we wanted to do things. We stuck to our morals, I guess, our discipline.
“At the end of the day we created as many chances as we did in the first two games, we just didn’t take them.
“There was definite belief on the pitch that we were going to get something out of the match.
“They’re a very good team but I think when we did things the right way, when we got it down and starting playing and opening them up I definitely thought we’d get something out of it.”
Milligan backed up from the Oman game and was again teamed with Matt McKay in midfield. The Socceroo veteran admitted the one-goal loss was hard to take.
“Of course, every game you lose it’s hard to take,” Milligan said.
“It’s harder to take because the conditions were so tough. It was very hot and we worked extremely hard. When you put that kind of effort into something you want to get the results for it as well.
“Yeah it’s disappointing from that side but we’ll look at things now. There was a lot of positives and things we didn’t do so well. We’ll sort that out quick smart and start preparing for our next match.”
Milligan captained the Socceroos last night in the absence of regular skipper Mile Jedinak and Tim Cahill. The Melbourne Victory midfielder said he was honoured to lead the team in Australia.
“It was very exciting,” the 29-year old said.
“Both myself and Timmy now have stepped in when Mile’s been away. It’s exciting to play in front of my family on Australian soil, it’s the first time I’ve had the chance to captain my country in front of my family.”