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Australia pledge to remain aggressive v Brazil

Written by: Staff
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OEHRINGEN, Germany, June 16 (Reuters) - Australia vowed to stick with their aggressive style in Sunday's World Cup Group F clash with Brazil, despite complaints from the champions they were a rough side.

The Socceroos rejected claims their tactics bordered on dirty and pledged to adopt the same approach against the South Americans in Munich.

''We'll play our natural game,'' midfielder Brett Emerton told reporters today. ''We like to be physical but we like to play some good football as well.'' Earlier this week Brazil coach Carlos Alberto Parreira said his side would impose their own style on the Socceroos.

''Australia are a very physical team but we are not going to get into a fight with them,'' said Parreira. ''Our business is to play football, put the ball on the ground and impose our style and technique.'' Vince Grella is recognised as the hard man of Australia's defence, taking responsibility for closing down attacks and mopping up stray passes. But he is not a certainty to play against Brazil.

He picked up a yellow card in the win over Japan on Monday and coach Guus Hiddink is worried a second booking would rule him out of the final group match with Croatia.

Australia have not yet named their team but Josip Skoko could replace Grella, with Emerton left with the job of marking playmaker Ronaldinho.

SCARY PROSPECT ''That's an exciting prospect and a scary one as well,'' Emerton said.

''It'll be an honour just to play against him. But you've just got to play your own game.'' Four players were booked against Japan but Skoko said it was unfair to label Australia a dirty team.

''I don't think we are too physical. We always go in like that,'' he said.

''I don't think that's an issue. If you're violent you get sent off.'' Captain Mark Viduka said the four yellow cards were a problem for his side although it would not change the way they played.

''That is a bit of a concern for us. We have to have every man available for every game so we'll see how Guus is going to rearrange the team,'' Viduka said.

''Every game is a crunch game. It's not like a league game, you've got to go for it and that can sometimes open you up to things but I think you still have to go for it.'' REUTERS DH PM2241

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