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Neill: "We'll win the Asian Cup"
Lucas Neill believes the Socceroos won't lose a match before lifting the Asian Cup.
Last Modified: 10 May 2007 15:30 GMT

Lucas Neill (l) plans to be singing the national anthem before the Asian Cup final [GALLO/GETTY]

Lucas Neill has predicted the Socceroos won't lose a match before they lift the Asian Cup as champions. 
 
Speaking from London, Neill said he was looking forward to remaining in the Premiership with West Ham before resting and then taking Asia by storm with his national side in their Asian Cup debut.

"From a player point of view, I expect us to go there and be undefeated," Neill said of the July tournament to be held across four countries - Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam.

"I really think that we've got a team now and a squad now that can handle the conditions.

"Enough of us have played on the big stage now that we won't be intimidated by the teams that we're going to play against."

Neill believes Australia can beat any team in Asia on their day and their biggest danger is themselves.

"If we don't approach every game with the perfect preparation, with the perfect mentality, then we're going to come unstuck.

"The obvious (strong) teams around us - like Japan and South Korea who, with World Cup experience, will definitely be strong teams - we'll need to be at our very best, on and off the pitch, mentally and physically, to overcome them.

"We can't be complacent and we need to approach each game professionally, make sure we get through our group and not make any silly mistakes in the late stages because I want to go over there to win."

Australia's group contains Iraq, Oman and Thailand, with the top two teams going through to the quarter-finals.

The tournament final will be held on July 29, while the English Premier League starts up again in August.

"It's a bit tight," said Neill.

"But I'd much rather be playing games for Australia in Asia then running around a West Ham training ground."

The Hammers are currently three points above the drop zone but face a difficult trip to Old Trafford on Sunday, while fellow relegation battlers Sheffield United and Wigan do battle at Bramall Lane.

Sheffield United and West Ham have 38 points while Wigan are on 35.

If Sheffield win or draw they will be safe and Wigan will go down while three points for Wigan keeps them safe and would leave Sheffield needing West Ham to lose at Old Trafford.

West Ham could still survive in the unlikely scenario of a narrow defeat combined with Sheffield scoring four or more at home.

"Well, it's not a bad time to play (Manchester United) because they might have one eye on the FA Cup," Neill said.

"I'm really excited, really looking forward to it and I reckon we're going to give them a really good game.

"Obviously, we've had a great run of late and this is kind of a 40 million pound game, although we have another game (at Bramall Lane) that can dictate matters for us."
Source:
Agencies
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