Osieck: Sloppy Australia a thing of the past

DOHA - Australia's 2011 Asian Cup campaign will be devoid of the sloppiness that contributed to their disappointing tournament debut four years ago, coach Holger Osieck said on Sunday.

Australia begin their campaign with a match against lowly India at the Al Sadd Stadium on Monday and Osieck and his captain, Lucas Neill, spoke of the importance of learning the lessons of the previous Asian Cup.

The Socceroos came into the 2007 tournament as favourites after joining the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) the previous year but they stuttered to a draw in their opening match with Oman, lost to surprise winners Iraq, and were dumped out in the quarter-finals by Japan.

"We never underestimate anybody," Osieck, who took charge of the Socceroos in August, told reporters in Doha.

"I don't accept sloppiness, I can assure you of that. We don't have it training and we won't have it in the game."

Neill, who was part of the 2007 squad, said the team were making good out of the disappointment.

"(The 2007) tournament was disappointing for us but the negativity and the experience from that we will turn into a positive now and we can use it to our advantage.

"We are in the tournament to try and win it but we will take it step by step; the first game is India and that's all we are thinking about

The Socceroos, more used to playing cricket against India, are expected to run up a big score against the side ranked 142nd by FIFA but Osieck was wary.

"We never underestimate anybody," the German said. "I have never paid too much attention to statistics and rankings. If you get lost in that aspect you lose on the field."

India's already slim hopes were further hit on Sunday when forward Sushil Kumar Singh was told by the AFC he would be suspended for the match after being sent off in the 2010 AFC Challenge Cup against North Korea.