FFA chief says Australia under pressure to qualify

Football Federation Australia chief executive David Gallop says

head coach Holger Osieck doesn’t need to be reminded of the

pressure he and the national team face in attempting to qualify for

the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

Australia’s 2-2 draw with Oman in Sydney on Tuesday left it

level with Oman with six points each. That’s seven behind leading

Japan and one behind second-place Jordan, although Australia has

played one less match than the other three teams.

The top two teams in each of two groups qualify directly from

Asia for 2014.

The Australians next play on June 4 against Japan in Saitama,

with no practice matches in between during that 10-week period.

”The Socceroos have the full support of the FFA but it goes

without saying that we are under pressure to make it to Brazil and

the coach and the staff know that,” Gallop said Thursday.

”We want to qualify for Brazil. We’ve got three games to come

and we need to be making sure we give every effort we can into

winning those games.”

Asked if Osieck’s position would be reviewed before the Japan

game, Gallop said: ”No one needs to remind Holger and indeed his

staff and indeed the team that they’re under pressure.”

”I’m sure they’ll be talking to Holger about their preparations

for June because we’ve got three games in a short space and we need

them to be ready for those three games,” he added.

Australia has qualified for the past two World Cup tournaments,

making it to the second round in 2006 before losing to eventual

champion Italy and failing to advance out of the group stage in

South Africa in 2010.

Previously, Australia had appeared in only one other World Cup

final – in Germany in 1974 – where the team failed to score a goal

and did not advance out of the first round.

”We’ve been to the past two World Cups, we want to go to a

third in a row,” Gallop said. ”It’s important and we’ll be doing

everything we can to get there.”