This is our best chance at Cup: Stajcic

Axed Matildas coach Alen Stajcic is adamant the squad can recover from his shock dismissal and be a force at this year's World Cup.

Matildas Head Coach ALEN STAJCIC speaks to the media during an Australian Matildas media opportunity at Harmony Park in Sydney, Australia.
Matildas Head Coach ALEN STAJCIC speaks to the media during an Australian Matildas media opportunity at Harmony Park in Sydney, Australia. Picture: Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

Alen Stajcic believes the Matildas can overcome the drama over his shock axing and challenge for this year's World Cup in France.

The FFA is deep into its search for a new coach of their national women's team after controversially sacking Stajcic in mid-January.

While the fallout continues over the governing body's decision, including possible legal action by Stajcic, there are fears it could harm Australia's Cup chances.

However, after breaking his silence on his axing on Monday, Stajcic insisted the Matildas have already proven their ability to triumph over adversity.

"They've had a lot of hardship over the years they've had to overcome...," Stajcic said.

"So look, if this is a hardship for some or most of the group, it's another thing that they'll have to overcome.

"But the positivity, the belief, that camaraderie, the unity within the group, is something that will get them through.

"I've no doubt that they're going to be a force at the World Cup."

It is understood FFA is hoping to appoint a coach for the Cup of Nations that begins on February 28 - one of three friendlies on home soil.

The Matildas then travel to the United States in April for a warm-up against the Americans in what will be their final tune-up before heading to France.

Asked for any advice for his replacement, Stajcic said: "My advice is that it's a great team with great potential.

"(This is) probably the best chance we're ever going to have to win a World Cup.

"When we think about football and the place that it has on the world stage and our place within it, this is is a precious moment for our country and our code.

"And one that I hope the same thing can really capture."

Stajcic was almost in tears when describing the pain of missing out on leading the Matildas, ranked No.6 in the world, at the World Cup.

He revealed roughly 25 players had privately contacted him in a show of support, including a public endorsement from captain Clare Polkinghorne.

"I always hope the best for the players having spent that much time throughout their development, their progression from young players to adults," Stajcic said.

"It's not gonna be hard to watch them play.

"Any person who spent that level of intimate time with a group of people you just want to see them succeed."


AAP