We can handle the pressure, says Postecoglou
The potential for stage fright is not a concern for Australia coach Ange Postecoglou as he prepares his side for the Asian Cup final against South Korea.
Postecoglou's largely inexperienced squad will be challenged with dealing with high expectations at a sold-out Stadium Australia on Saturday.
Yet although the clash with South Korea represents arguably the biggest match Australia will have played on home soil, Postecoglou does not expect the host nation to freeze under pressure.
"There's nothing that I’ve seen that suggests the occasion will get to anyone tomorrow," he said.
"Anyone who saw us after the semi-final [when Australia beat the UAE], the players pretty much by the time I got back to the rooms were in recovery mode and focusing on what they had to do for the final. I can speak more highly of their professionalism over the last month.
"We've got some fantastic experienced players, well led [by skipper Mile Jedinak] and there's nothing I’ve seen to suggest we’ll freeze.
"It's a big game, a big day and there’s always that possibility but I've got a great deal of faith in these players to perform the task."
Postecoglou received a boost on Friday when right-back Ivan Franjic played a full part in training.
The Torpedo Moscow man suffered a hip injury against United Arab Emirates, but looked to be showing no ill-effects as he took a huge step towards proving his fitness.
South Korea ran out 1-0 winners when the teams met in the group stage, but Postecoglou believes that result will count for little.
"We lost but we felt we performed well on the night. There was no negatives out of it and it didn't cost us too much in a tournament perspective [with both sides having already qualified]," he added.
"We left that game knowing we can match it with the Korean team.
"Regardless of who you play in the final, previous form becomes irrelevant just because of the occasion."