Tired Matildas think of their next Korea move
LOOKING tired and drawn, the Matildas struggled off a Qantas jet and into Coffs Harbour yesterday afternoon, following their marathon 40-hour flight from North Korea and were taken straight to a training session by head coach Tom Sermanni.
"It's just to get them loosened up and in touch with home again," Sermanni grinned, when asked if he was a hard task-master.
"We'll then move to morning sessions and spend time looking at the video of Sunday's game to construct tactics for the next match.
"I want to name the starting squad as early as possible so we can move ahead with the planning."
The Matildas were forced to endure a day and a half wait in Pyongyang as only three international flights go to and from the city each week.
The squad now have three days to turn around their 2-0 loss in the capital of the Democratic People's Republic when they play their re-match at BCU International on Sunday.
But the affable coach's smile faded when told the weather forecast looked bleak for the next few days, including on game day.
"They don't play that often on a slick pitch and it may favour the Koreans," he said.
"It's another reason why we need the locals out in force to get behind us in support."
Sermanni wouldn't mind the same crowd support that cheered on the winners last Sunday night.
"They managed to cram 40,000 into their stadium and it was very intimidating," he said.
"We mightn't get the same numbers but whoever goes needs to be very vocal and very noisy.
"When you become aware of that sort of welcome behind you it gives the side a lift and I can't stress enough how important it will be."
Weather permitting, the coach believes his players will be more at home on the BCU surface than what they experienced on the weekend.
"The venue was fine and we played at 6pm at night which was perfect," he said.
"But the pitch was a bit ropy and I prefer to be where we're going to play.
"I just hope this rain clears in time."
The DPR Korea squad will arrive in the city on a Virgin Blue flight at 4pm today.