Matildas boss Alen Stajcic has reinforced his belief there is still plenty for the Matildas to work on despite their stunning success at the recent tournament of nations.
The Matildas swept aside all before them in emphatic style at the round robin tournament, defeating the United States 1-0, Japan 4-2 and perhaps most impressively, Brazil 6-1.
Stajcic told Friday’s Daily Football Show he hopes the bar of expectation has been raised by the Green and Gold’s success.
“We’ve always set high expectations within our group internally,” Stajcic said.
“We’ve always said since we’ve been together now, two or three years going back to the 2015 World Cup, that this is where we want to get to so internally for us, it’s not a big issue.
“The greater the expectation, the better for us. When you talk about what other countries might think, I would always like to go into a game as favourites.
“That means you’re the better team, that means you’re the more respected team, that means you’ve got better form on the board and all the things that go with that, the confidence and believe that you can play at that level.
“We haven’t been in that position for a long time and it is different being an underdog all the time, but me personally, I’d rather be a favourite than an underdog my whole life.”
Stajcic was firm throughout the tournament in saying there remained work to be done by the girls before next year’s Asian Cup in Jordan, and longer term, the 2019 World Cup in France.
Stajcic pinpointed decision making in possessions as his biggest bugbear, rating his charges at just “five or six” when in possession.
“There’s plenty of areas where we can improve. Especially with the ball, I think our ball possession was good, but certainly at times we gave the ball away carelessly and made some poor decisions when we had it under no pressure,” he explained.
“I wouldn’t give us more than a five or a six out of 10 with the ball to be honest.
“I thought in defence we were quite good, quite organised most of the time.
“But there’s still so much we can improve on the ball and if we can improve those aspects of the game … then certainly we’ve still got a lot more improvement in us.”
The Matildas will be back in action on home soil in September when they face Brazil in a dual series at Penrith and Newcastle.