Austria coach Hans Krankl has called on his squad not be fazed by World Cup campaigners Cameroon in a friendly on Wednesday.
« When the game starts, everyone has to stop respecting them, » Krankl told a news conference on Tuesday. « When it kicks off there are just 11 players against 11.
Cameroon, who drew 2-2 against Argentina last month, are clear favourites for the match and riding high on the road to the World Cup where they play in first-round group E with Germany, Saudia Arabia and Ireland.
But the team’s German coach Winfried Schaefer hinted that changes in the line-up would still be possible.
« We have got the skeleton squad together and will not substantially change the regular players, » he said on arrival in Austria on Monday. « We will probably add in a few new players. »
Krankl, the silver-haired former Barcelona striker, has added midfielders Gerd Wimmer, Markus Hiden and youngster Paul Scharner to his squad for the match.
Krankl’s fighting talk and emphasis on the psychological preparation of his players marks a radical change for Austria, who crashed out of the World Cup qualifiers under former coach Otto Baric after losing 6-0 on aggregate to Turkey.