Every minute counts, says Australian Gustavsson, when the World Cup approaches

Australia manager Tony Gustavsson believes his side are in a race against time to complete preparations for next year’s Women’s World Cup, but this home advantage can help propel the team to success.

Australia will host the 32-team finals in July and August alongside neighbors New Zealand, and Gustavsson warned of complacency ahead of his side’s final preseason games against Olympic champions Canada on Saturday and Tuesday.

“Everyone is talking about it being almost a year until the World Cup,” Gustavsson told reporters.

“But we actually destroyed all FIFA windows and we have five FIFA windows, that means we have 46 days.

“Of those 46 days, 14 days are spent on travel and recovery. That leaves us with 32 days. Of those 32 days before the World Cup squad is announced, there will be 11 games and 11 pre-match meetings.

“That leaves us with 10 proper workouts; 10 sessions where we can play 11 vs 11 and work on all the details.

“So soon we will announce a squad before we come here and prepare for the World Cup.

“So just around the corner. Every minute counts.”

Gustavsson brings his team into the games against the Canadians with a number of key players absent as Ellie Carpenter, Hayley Raso, Steph Catley, Tameka Yallop, Chloe Logarzo, Caitlin Foord and Kyah Simon are all sidelined.

The Australians have won just eight of their 24 games since Gustavsson’s appointment in 2020, but the Sweden manager called for more support for his team from the country’s sporting community.

“If you believe, that means you can achieve something that’s more than what’s expected of a team,” he said.

“And one thing is for sure I have this job because I believe in this team and I know the process we are in, the players believe in the process and also in this team.

“Look at what England did at the European Championships, for example, with their home country’s support. If we can believe, it’s going to be a very, very interesting World Cup.”