Tim Cahill must start for the Socceroos, says Robbie Slater
Tim Cahill must start for the Socceroos, says Robbie Slater Rick Rycroft

Slater can't see Socceroos losing to Honduras

EX-SOCCEROOS star Robbie Slater says the thought of defeat against Honduras tonight hasn't even entered his head and he fully expects Ange Postecoglou's side to qualify for next year's World Cup finals in Russia.

Slater, now a pundit for Fox Sports, made 44 appearances for his country, scoring one goal.

He played in Terry Venables' team that was 2-0 up on Iran in the home leg of the play-off for the World Cup in France almost 20 years ago, before eventually drawing 2-2 and going out on away goals with tie level at 3-3 on aggregate.

The former Blackburn, Southampton and West Ham winger said he thought about that game every day, but while he said there would be ups and downs at ANZ Stadium tonight, he backed Postecoglou's men to come out on top.

"You don't even want to think about it (a loss)," Slater said.

"The thought of defeat doesn't enter my head and hopefully it's in no one else's.

"But it is a possibility. It's 0-0 anything can happen in football.

"It's going to be a nervous wait.

"I fully expect us to win but such are the quirks of football, you can be the best team and lose.

"That's the situation we are in and we have got to deal with that.

"It's our last chance. There has been a lot said about being where we are.

"The first failure was not to qualify directly so you put yourself into these sudden-death situations and it's going right down to the wire."

Slater said while comparisons were being made between the play-off game in 2005 against Uruguay and tonight's clash, Honduras were not in the same class of the South Americans.

"I certainly don't want to be disrespectful to Honduras but what they showed - one shot on goal at home in 90 minutes against us - we have nothing to fear quality wise," he said.

"There are no excuses. We just have to win. I am expecting us to win."

Slater said he expected a typical Ange Postecoglou line-up and performamce for tonight's game with the Socceroos' talisman - Tim Cahill - leading from the front.

"Ange's philosophy is attack, so there is no other way for him to go," he said.

"It will be very much in the image of the Thailand and Syria games where we will have all the possession and I think we will have all the chances and it's just a question of putting them away which I fully expect us to do.

"If Tim Cahill's fit he will start with him. No doubt about that.

"He declared himself fit and raring to go so I expect him to start.

"And after what he did against Syria, why wouldn't you." 

News Corp Australia

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