Socceroos coach Graham Arnold has confirmed the fitness of Ajdin Hrustic ahead of the Tunisia game.

DOHA: The Socceroos will welcome back star midfielder Ajdin Hrustic as coach Graeme Arnold rallies his troops to “get ready for war” in a must-win game against Tunisia.

Arnold has repeatedly, somewhat disparagingly, referred to the France game as a “friendly” – and to be fair, if you’re going to be thrashed by one of the competition’s heavyweights, it’s better to leave it early.

“The best friendly we’ve ever had – it’s a two-game tournament now. It was three games, but yes, we’ve got to win the next two games and there’s no better opponent in what’s called a friendly. France, it’s about every little mistake they make. will punish you for that,” he said.

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“It’s a great learning experience for a lot of the young lads out there. We had 11 debutants and the talk is not just for this campaign but for the next one.”

Arnold said that after the defeat to France, the question of picking up the players is simple enough – after all, they are professionals and this is the World Cup.

“They were down, of course they were disappointed – but straight after the game we went back to the hotel and I grabbed them straight in the room and told them how proud I was of their work ethic and commitment,” he said.

We won’t know in advance what tactical changes the Socceroos boss has in mind, but the aim is simple enough – throw in more of what we’ve seen against France before and the rest.

“It was the intention to play higher up the pitch like we started in the first 30 minutes against France,” he said.

“We have to do it for 90, but when you give away possession so cheaply you push back – and that’s the technical side we have to work on.”

One positive is that not every player was unscathed from the France game, and on top of that Australia should likely see the return of one of their key players.

“Ajdin Hrustic’s ankle is good – 95 (percent), so the other five don’t matter. He can start,” Arnold said.

“Over the next few days we’ll make sure he’s doing well and ready to go.”

Tunisia will be backed by a raucous cheering group, just like they were against Denmark a few days ago, and the Socceroos should be ready for that.

“We have to be ready for this war,” Arnold said.

“They’re aggressive and they’ll have 40,000 fans behind them and it’s going to be a really amazing experience for everyone again.”

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