Bert van Marwijk’s secrets are no good against Denmark, who have a unique insight into the Australian coach’s tactical mindset. Pic: AFP
Bert van Marwijk’s secrets are no good against Denmark, who have a unique insight into the Australian coach’s tactical mindset. Pic: AFP

Secret Cup weapon to break Roos

DENMARK has a secret weapon in its battle to break Australian hearts by knocking them out of the World Cup - its assistant coach Jon Dahl Tomasson.

Tomasson knows all too well the techniques and methods of Australian coach Bert van Marwijk as he played under him during the Dane's prolific spell at Dutch club Feyenoord in the early 2000s.

"I know the trainer, I know the coach,'' Tomasson said before Denmark trained in the Russian coastal city of Anapa on Monday.

"He wouldn't change his game plan, not at all."

Tomasson was playing for van Marwijk when Feyenoord won the old UEFA Cup final in 2002.

Tomasson scored a goal in the Dutch club's 3-2 triumph over Borussia Dortmund.

The Danish assistant, who scored 52 goals for Denmark in a long career, has also been keeping a close eye on his former manager since van Marwijk since he assumed the Socceroos' job following the resignation of Ange Postecoglou.

Bert van Marwijk has been embraced by Socceroos fans, but the Danes have been watching as well... Pic AAP
Bert van Marwijk has been embraced by Socceroos fans, but the Danes have been watching as well... Pic AAP

"I also read all the Dutch newspapers and I think they have been working defensively the last couple of weeks,'' he said.

"They have been training on the defensive part you can see that, a solid team, they don't give spaces away or not much.''

Tomasson said that as the Denmark team thrived on finding space, especially to release playmaker Christian Eriksen, "it's going to be difficult, but I think we can manage it''.

He also said that he was not concerned that Australia could take an overly physical approach, especially to nullify the threat of Eriksen.

Denmark, he said, had tough players as well.

Denmark’s assistant coach Jon Dahl Tomasson (L) talks with player Andreas Cornelius at team training. Pic: AP
Denmark’s assistant coach Jon Dahl Tomasson (L) talks with player Andreas Cornelius at team training. Pic: AP

Pointing to the 193cm forward Yussuf Poulsen, who scored the winner in Denmark's first game against Peru, Tomasson said "look at this guy, he's also an animal, we are strong, we are strong as well''.

Tomasson identified Australia's threat from set pieces and their ability to hit teams on the break as the Socceroos' biggest weapons.

Denmark's players conceded they had been lucky to topple Peru in the first game but now know a win against Australia will almost certainly guarantee them entry into the second round of the World Cup for the first time since 2002.

Yussuf Poulsen celebrates after scoring against Peru. Pic: Getty
Yussuf Poulsen celebrates after scoring against Peru. Pic: Getty

Quicksilver winger Pione Sisto said the team would learn about Australia during the week but would be prepared for a team that was vastly different in style to Peru and wouldn't underestimate the Socceroos.

"It was really difficult for France (against Australia),'' he said.

"These teams can be really difficult to play against. I have played against these teams a lot of times. It is actually tougher in a lot of ways.''



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