Moore: Our defensive balance is good

Former Socceroo defender Craig Moore believes Australia has got the balance of its back four right and is working together as a group ahead of the Chile match.

The Socceroos open their 2014 World Cup campaign against Chile on Friday and Moore, a veteran of the past two World Cup tournaments, said despite their lack of familiarity the Socceroo defence is looking good.

“The first real test I would say is against Croatia and I thought the back four worked extremely well,” Moore said.

“The back four is all about how they are as a group. Individually you need good performances, but you need to be very well organized as a back four, as one, so to speak.

"They were very good in the game against Croatia. Croatia are a team that have fantastic talent and have the ability to carve the best teams apart with their forward play and we handled ourselves very well.

“Wilko and Spira defended exceptionally well and in the wider areas with Franjic and Davo, not only did we defend well but we caused problems going forward. I think you need that balance. I think with Wilko and Spira, and anybody really that comes into that, you don’t normally have two central defenders that offer the same qualities.

“I think at the moment the balance is good. Certainly the back four is working as a group so a lot of positives to work from in the Croatia game although we conceded a goal that was a little bit unlucky, a deflection, in the end we don’t get the result that we would like. But the positive thing was we created some fantastic chances.”

Alex Wilkinson is favourite to partner Matt Spiranovic in the heart of Australia’s defence against Chile, with Ivan Franjic on the right and Jason Davidson on the left.

Moore, who played more than 50 times for the national team and is in Brazil as an ambassador with the squad, said the hard work has been done leading up to the opening match.

“We’re in a good position, the team has certainly done all the hard work in terms of the preparation,” he said.

“They’re probably a little anxious now, the nerves, which I guess are normal leading into game time. We know the first game is important and Chile have some fantastic offensive players.

“They also work extremely hard defensively so we know we need to be certainly at our best. But we believe that the patterns of play and what we’re working on, we will create opportunities, it’s just the moments in the games and trying to capitalize on those moments.

The former Glasgow Rangers, Newcastle United and Brisbane Roar defender said the Socceroos aren’t going to be waiting for things to happen against Chile.

“We’re looking to be on the front foot,” Moore said.

“We’re looking to create and have really dominant spells within games because you sit back and you just wait for things to happen, there’s not real opportunity to go and win football matches.

“And the boss certainly has the team playing in a very positive manner and we’ll be looking to make an impact on games, to create a lot of goal-scoring opportunities and then it’s up to us to take those chances.”