Matildas coach Tony Gustavsson has vowed to make better use of star striker Sam Kerr in Australia’s friendly with Denmark on Friday morning.
The away clash with the Danes as well next week’s battle with Sweden are part of the Matildas’ Olympic Games preparations, and also a chance for redemption after disastrous losses to Germany and the Netherlands in April.
Thrashed 5-2 by the Germans and 5-0 by the Dutch, the Matildas have plenty of work ahead of them if they are to contend for a medal in Tokyo.
“Let’s say we get another big knock and another big knock … the pressure and the waves of negativity and maybe the lack of belief from people around could affect us going into the Olympics,” Gustavsson said.
Gustavsson took some of the blame for the poor April performances, which were his first in charge of Australia.
Sam Kerr (right) had a tough times in April against Germany and the Netherlands. Picture: Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images
That Matildas captain and Chelsea star Sam Kerr didn’t score in either game was a concern and a problem Gustavsson has promised to rectify against the Danes and Swedes.
“Sam is going to get a lot of attention defensively,” Gustavsson said.
“They’re going to go double up on her, they’re going to screen her in front, from behind, (and) they’re going to play physical on her.
“I don’t think I as a coach managed to activate her that way I wanted in the last camp, and it falls on me getting to understand the team better and where we’re at.
“We did spend a lot of time between the last camp and this camp to see how can we get the most out of Sam Kerr.
“You might see some changes coming up in these games and see how that works.
“We’re looking at some things in training to make sure we have some players closer to her, to operate around her, and have some better off-ball movement to create spaces.”
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