Stange, who was appointed by Syria last February, was removed from his post after the Qaisoun Eagles were beaten 2-0 by Jordan.

Syria have just one point after two Group B matches, with a 0-0 draw with Palestine, and face Australia tomorrow.

Al-Saleh said the colourful German coach "didn't have the right plans" for the Syrian team.

"I would blame the previous coach 100%," the 29-year-old told France24.

"He didn't have the right plans for us, and you can see the result. As soon as Fajr (interim coach Fajr Ibrahim) arrived at the pitch, we knew his tactics and his plans.

"We all like him and we all wanted him as head coach."

Despite the furore over Stange, Al-Saleh is confident his side can topple the Socceroos.

"We respect Australia, they are one of the favourites to win the title," he said.

"But I'm sure we're able to beat Australia. We scored at their ground and we can score against them again - even if Australia is probably the best team in Asia."