Mabil sends warning to Syria
Australian winger Awer Mabil believes Syria should feel afraid when they face a confident Socceroos side in an Asian Cup Group B match today.
Australia, the defending Asian Cup champions, started their tournament with a 1-0 loss to Jordan on Jan 6, but have recovered their belief after a 3-0 win over Palestine last Friday.
And Mabil, a Sudanese refugee-turned-Australian citizen, believes they are ready to build on that victory.
Syria have struggled after a 0-0 draw with Palestine and a 2-0 loss to Jordan, which resulted in the sacking of their coach Bernd Stange.
They must beat Australia to keep their hopes of qualifying for the knockout stage alive, but Mabil insisted that he is not afraid of them, reported news.com.au.
"If they sacked their coach, they sacked their coach. I'm afraid for them, because we want to make statements.
"We want to build on from this game and that's what we're going to prepare now - we're going to recover and make sure we're 100 per cent against Syria."
The former Adelaide United player also believes Socceroos fans should be excited about this new-look national team, following the retirement of talisman Tim Cahill.
Captain Mark Milligan was the only player over 30 years of age in the starting line-up against Palestine.
Mabil, 23, and striker Jamie Maclaren, 25, both scored against Palestine, as fellow winger Chris Ikonomidis, 23, also shone.
"With Arnie (coach Graham Arnold) now coming in, he's making a lot of statements," Mabil said.
"He's not afraid to give youngsters a chance and you can see .
"Chris had a really, really good game and also Jamie scored, I scored. I'm really excited for Australian football and I think the fans should be excited."