Poor pitch, depleted squad won't affect Australia vs. Honduras - Bailey Wright
The Socceroos might be without a trio of injured stars for their World Cup qualifier with Honduras but Bailey Wright believes they've never been stronger.
The staunch defender has hit the ground running in San Pedro Sula ahead of Saturday's opening match in the two-legged affair.
For many, it's a backs-to-the-wall tie, with an understrength Australia facing a formidable home side buoyed by a raucous crowd.
It's why veteran attacker Tim Cahill called the Central American match-up a tougher assignment than Australia's last intercontinental playoff, against Uruguay in 2005.
Wright takes a different tack, believing Ange Postecoglou's preparation has Australia peaking at the right moment.
"As a group, we're stronger than ever," he said.
"This is a great opportunity to qualify ... a lot of work that has gone in to get us to this point. We'll do what we set out to do and that's qualify.
"The team has been pretty consistent. A few changes, a few ins and outs and people with injuries. That's just the way it goes.
"For us as a group, this is the strongest we've been, which is healthy."
The 22-man squad are now all in camp with the arrival of Nikita Rukavytsya and Alex Gersbach on Tuesday.
Mile Jedinak is back in the fold but Mark Milligan, Mat Leckie (suspension) and Robbie Kruse (knee) won't be coming, removing 170 caps worth of experience from the camp.
Wright believes less experienced Socceroos -- such as Josh Risdon, with four national team appearances, or uncapped midfielder Jimmy Jeggo -- can use the occasion to kick-start international careers.
"Obviously [the three out are] a loss. They are big characters and big players," he said.
"We've been without Mile. He's a big boost for us, him coming back. He's a real leader and a great character.
"We've not just prepared 11 people or a squad of 23. We've got a squad of 40 that are ready to step in and do the job.
"When important players like that are injured or miss out through suspensions, it's another opportunity for someone else. That's how football works.
"Look at how many people that have grabbed those opportunities -- it's no different for anyone right now."
The "no excuses" approach extends to their training ground, the home of local side Real Espana.
It's a slow pitch, composed of different types of grass and similar to what they'll encounter at the Estadio Olimpico Metropolitano.
"We've faced many different teams in many different climates. We've never made excuses," Wright said.
"Ideally you want to play on a nice pitch.
"That's not the way it goes and it never does. We just get on with it."