Milicic: USA tour 'invaluable' as World Cup preparations ramp up
At the end of an 'invaluable' 12-day camp in the United States, head coach Ante Milicic believes the Westfield Matildas are ‘going in the right direction’ as the FIFA Women's World Cup France 2019™ looms into view.
Australia took on the world's No.1-ranked side in a high-profile friendly match last Friday, finishing on the wrong end of a 5-3 scoreline as the USA fine-tuned their own World Cup preparations.
While the result was not to be for Australia, Milicic took away many positives on which the team can build as they look forward to France 2019.
LIVE BLOG: All the news from the Westfield Matildas' USA camp
HOW TO WATCH: Netherlands v Australia in final pre-World Cup friendly
JOURNEY TO FRANCE: The road to FIFA World Cup France 2019™
“It’s been a good camp for us, 12 days we’ve been together,” Milicic said.
“We’ve done a lot of work both on and off the pitch, working on our playing style, on our principles, doing a lot of video review as well.
The time together is invaluable, so I’m delighted with the way the camp’s gone — some small steps moving forward and very happy we’re going in the right direction.”
After a successful Cup of Nations campaign, the friendly against the USA was a golden opportunity for Milicic’s players to gauge themselves against the best in the world.
Lessons have been learned from the 12-day camp in Denver, Colorado, and will be put to the test in the players’ final preparations against the Netherlands on 1 June and their campaign in France.
“The girls’ attitude has been first class, they’ve taken everything on board that we’ve wanted to get across and the way they’ve executed has been excellent,” said Milicic.
“We’ve got a lot of lessons this trip and there are a lot of things we need to work on moving forward.
“We’re aware of that, but we’re quite confident in the preparation and time we have moving forward that that will be enough to put us in a good position coming into the World Cup.”