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Socceroos must temper emotions during Asian Cup

Socceroos stand-in captain Jackson Irvine has conceded he and his teammates need to find a way to “keep a lid” on their emotions for the sake of their Asian Cup campaign after a fiery friendly with Bahrain served as a reminder of what they are in for during the tournament.

A slew of fouls from their opposition provided an extra level of “frustration” in the 2-0 win on Sunday (AEDT). even though the added physicality helped provide what Socceroos coach Graham Arnold labelled a “perfect” preparation for Saturday night’s opening encounter against India at the Ahmad bin Ali Stadium in Qatar.

Irvine – who was given the skipper’s armband for the clash with Bahrain amid the ongoing absence of regular captain Mat Ryan, who is recovering from a fractured cheekbone – said managing games against Asian nations could be “difficult”.

“From the emotional perspective, behaviour of the opposition and of course the situation. with officials and everything that comes with that … it can be frustrating,” he said.

“You try your best not to let it affect your overall performance … although I can be an emotional character on the pitch verbally.

“I like to think that it doesn’t affect my game tactically and when it comes to composure with the ball.

“There’s always lessons to learn and maybe you know you’ve got to keep a lid on those things maybe slightly more than I did manage to (against Bahrain), but … some games in particular can drive you more emotionally than others.”

Irvine said the Socceroos needed to “find more options” to “break teams down”.

“Although we created a lot of good moments, we probably didn’t test (Bahrain’s) goalkeeper enough.” he said.

“We’ll get ourselves physically right and … we’ll all be ready to go and excited for what comes ahead.”

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