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Socceroos Ready to Embrace Hostile Crowd in Mexico Test

The crowd at Sunday’s friendly match against the world No.12 at AT&T Stadium in Dallas, Texas, looms as anything but.

But a hostile atmosphere is exactly how the Socceroos coach likes it.

“I don’t know if it’ll be too neutral tomorrow,” Arnold said with a laugh on Saturday.

“They’re expecting around 50,000 Mexicans which should be great.

“They won the Gold Cup, they’re champions of Central America, they’re a good side no doubt.

“But we’ve got our way of playing and we’ll go out there in their face.

“What their strengths are is their technique and they like time on the ball. Well, as I said to the boys today, we don’t give them any time on the ball and we take those strengths away and we play to our strengths.

“It’s a great test for us, it’s a great opportunity.”

Since the World Cup, the Socceroos have played Ecuador twice, Argentina and now Mexico, while they will face England and New Zealand in October. 

The variety of opponents serve as crucial preparations for January’s Asian Cup and the start of World Cup qualifiers.

“I have to pinch myself nearly every day,” Arnold said.

“When you’re playing Argentina, let’s not forget Ecuador in March, a team that was at the World Cup, and you come in here to play against Mexico and then England. It’s just the best that you can do for the players.

“The results are hugely important, but it’s the learning process for the players and what it does, always after these type of games is it shows the players that they believe that they belong because they’re coming up against this type of opposition.

“Sometimes they sit and watch a higher level and sometimes they’re still a bit starstruck, but once they get out there against this opposition it’s been fantastic.

“I’d rather play against these type of opposition every week for friendly matches or friendly fixtures instead of playing easy opposition where you don’t learn anything.”

Mathew Leckie (knee) is sidelined while Kye Rowles will play left-back, with Cam Burgess locked in to debut as Harry Souttar’s central defensive partner.

Arnold has relished a rare opportunity to scope out the United States.

“I haven’t been to America that many times but I can’t remember the last time we played against the USA, I think the last time we played against Canada was 1993,” Arnold said.

“So to get this opportunity to be over here in America and train at their facilities and also see what the conditions are like around this time of year for when the World Cup is going to be on, it’s been a great, great tour so far.”

Source : Keep Up