Westfield Matildas not underestimating Thailand: Stajcic

There may be 24 places between the two sides on the latest FIFA rankings, but the Westfield Matildas are preparing for Thailand as though they were playing the top side in the world.

The two nations met just three weeks ago with Australia defeating Thailand 5-0 in a pre-Asian Cup friendly in Perth. 

They come head-to-head again tonight in the 2018 AFC Women’s Asian Cup Semi-Finals and Matildas coach Alen Stajcic is adamant there’s no complacency in his camp.

AFC Women's Asian Cup preview: Westfield Matildas v Thailand



“We prepare the same whether we're playing Thailand, Vietnam, America or Norway,” Stajcic told media on the eve of the game at King Abdullah II Stadium.

“We give everyone the utmost respect.

“We have a playing style and a philosophy we like to impose on the match and it doesn't matter who we play against, we play the same way with the same intent and the same positivity.

“Whether they're ranked one or 200, we always prepare and play the same way.

“That ensures we have the consistency, maturity and professionalism in our team that we need to have because anyone who is complacent in sport usually gets bitten on the backside.

“That's certainly not in our team.

“We're preparing as hard and as thoroughly as we can and we'll do everything we can to win this match,” said Stajcic.

Matildas qualify for WWC2019



After a hard-fought 1-1 draw against Japan in their final group game, there was a suggestion Stajcic might take the opportunity to rest some key players ahead of a potential re-match in the final.

But the Australian mentor wasn’t willing to confirm that some players will be left out of the Thailand clash.

“This is a semi-final; it's not the sort of game where you can take your foot off the pedal and think you can just rest players,” he said.

“We're looking to keep the squad as fresh as we can and at the same time put out the best squad we think can do the job against each particular opponent.

“We look at different players' strengths and weaknesses against different opponents and try to match up like-for-like as best we can, but at the same time managing player loads.

“We're certainly putting out the strongest team we can and one we think can do the job.”