Lucas Neill has denied pitting Australia's young players against their senior team-mates and claims his 'words were twisted'.
The captain, speaking on Monday after consecutive 6-0 defeats and the sacking of coach Holger Osieck, provoked the ire of many supporters when he suggested that the junior players in the national team set-up lacked the passion of their more experienced colleagues.
The team put their alleged divisions behind them to beat lowly Canada 3-0 in a friendly at Craven Cottage on Tuesday, and the veteran centre-back afterwards stood by his pre-match comments.
"I said during the week - and my words were twisted - that we needed spirit," he told Fox Sports.
"We found it tonight, we worked very hard for each other. We had a good game plan, good formation. We created a number of chances and we deserved the win tonight. We'll take a lot of confidence from that.
"I just wanted a call for passion, it wasn't me trying to put one against the other, or split old versus young. It was about everybody. When you have the shirt on, you have to wear it with pride. And tonight, we showed that pride in our performance.
"It's very pleasing, I'm very proud. It's been a tough couple of games. The reaction today has been excellent. As always, we lose together and we win together. Today was about the team. I'm very proud of the guys, I thought it was a great effort."
When asked if the young players on Tuesday showed the spirit that he previously claimed had been lacking, Neill said: "Of course, they did. As a result, with some hard work and effort, some really nice combination football at stages, we got a really well deserved win. It's nice after two very big defeats to come away with a very nice victory."
One such youngster was Mathew Leckie, who came off the bench to score his first goal for Australia, and he believes the players singled out for scrutiny by Neill acquitted themselves well.
"These things happen throughout national teams," he said, referring to Osieck's departure.
"We're all professional. Us players just have to worry about things on the pitch.
"I think the young guys that came in today, we really gave our best."
Australia are yet to announce their opponents for the next two international friendlies to be played on November 16 and 20, by which time a new coach - seemingly Ange Postecoglou or Graham Arnold - could be in place.
|M. de Jong|
|J. de Guzmán|
|D. De Rosario|
|Coach: Benito Floro|
for J. de Guzmán 25'
for I. Hume 46'
for D. De Rosario 46'
for N. Ledgerwood 46'
for S. Jackson 54'
for M. de Jong 60'
|Palestino 3 Santiago Wanderers 1: Title drought almost over for hosts|
|Copa del Rey Review: Finnbogason breaks drought in Sociedad win|
|Coupe de la Ligue Review: PSG scrape into quarters, Lille, Monaco win on penalties|
|Worcester City 1 Scunthorpe United 1 (aet, 13-14 on pens): League side narrowly avoid shock|
|Stambouli hails ´perfect´ Tottenham|
|Goals win games - Pardew|
|Bundesliga Review: Dortmund held by late equaliser, Leverkusen beat Bremen|
|PSV 4 Feyenoord 3: De Jong hat-trick helps settle thriller|
|Rodgers hails ´brilliant´ Liverpool|
|Eredivisie Preview: Leaders PSV take on struggling Eagles|
|Madoui hails second-half display|
|Championship Preview: Reading´s Clarke era begins at Watford|
|Liverpool to meet Chelsea in League Cup semi-finals|
|San Lorenzo 2 Auckland City 1: Extra time required to book Real final|
|AC Ajaccio 1 PSG 3: Late show sends holders through|
|Bournemouth 1 Liverpool 3: Sterling brace helps ease pressure|
|Tottenham 4 Newcastle United 0: Pochettino´s men march into semi-finals|
|Borussia Dortmund 2 Wolfsburg 2: Naldo denies Klopp´s strugglers|
|League Two Preview: Moore looks for fighting spirit, Accrington aim to bounce back|
|Allegri has suspension overturned|
|ES Setif 2 Western Sydney Wanderers 2 (5-4 on pens): Algerians rely on penalties to finish fifth|
|Ligue 1 Preview: Fournier not expecting to claim top spot, Marseille entertain Lille|
|Indian Super League Review: Kerala through to face Kolkata in final|
|Lasogga suffers thigh strain|
|Michael Garcia FIFA resignation notice in full|
|Bayern draw not ideal - Lucescu|
|Garcia resigns from FIFA role|
|Mainz v Bayern Munich: Bavarians on brink of more records|
|Garcia to fight two-match ban|
|Green backs Mignolet to return stronger|
|Mandzukic and Koke to lead inexperienced Atleti XI|
|Fonte apologises to fans after cup defeat|
|Metz suspend Maiga after unauthorised absence|
|Agent: Cole settled at Roma|
|Bayern duo sign new deals|
|Allegri calls for Juve focus ahead of Cagliari trip|
|Pearson accepts FA charge after fan row|
|Mourinho rules out January signings|
|Schaars set for PSV absence after knee surgery|
|Traore wants more Barca chances|
|Hamann hopes Liverpool receive cup boost|
|Lukaku wants Everton to produce Premier League best in Europe|
|La Liga Preview: Barca host Cordoba, Atletico travel to Bilbao|
|A-League Preview: Berisha crucial for Milligan-less Victory|
|Tena: Real ´by far the better team´|
|Blanc avoids Mourinho mind games, hails retiring Henry|
|Hecking convinced Dortmund remain dangerous|
|United´s Jones insists injuries are behind him|
|Henry: Managing Arsenal is my dream|
|Hard to imagine a better performance - Luis Enrique|
|Copa del Rey Review: Goals rain in Spain|
|Benatia to sit out Mainz clash|
|Koeman slams ´disrespectful´ Sheffield United|
|Barcelona 8 Huesca 1 (12-1 agg): Pedro treble sets up big win|
|Coupe de la Ligue Review: Nantes come from two down, Bastia knock out Caen|
|Penalty save was key, says Ancelotti|
|Mourinho pleased with professional approach in Derby win|
|FA Cup Review: Yeovil set up Man United clash, Tranmere to face Swansea|
|Bundesliga Review: Stuttgart move off bottom, Bayern win again|
|Sheffield United 1 Southampton 0: McNulty secures semi-final spot for third-tier side|
|Derby County 1 Chelsea 3: Premier League leaders progress|
|Cruz Azul 0 Real Madrid 4: Spanish giants cruise into final|
|Bayern Munich 2 Freiburg 0: 100 not out for Robben as champions cruise|
|Cagliari v Juventus: Barzagli unconcerned by successive draws|
|ECA and EPFL make case for May World Cup in 2022|
|Atletico Madrid v L´Hospitalet: Simeone likely to rotate|
|Serie A Preview: Morata chasing goals, Roma host Milan|
|Hartlepool appoint Moore following takeover|
|Parma appoint new president|
|Garcia handed two-match ban|
|Reading appoint Clarke to replace Adkins|
|Conte rules out resignation|
|Adebayor will not face Newcastle - Pochettino|
|Zhang seals Wolfsburg switch|
|SFA rejects Tonev appeal|
|Garcia report appeal rejected by FIFA|
|Herrera denies involvement in match-fixing|
|Thierry Henry: Moments that defined a genius|
|UEFA opens proceedings against Celtic|
|Rodgers denies talk of dressing-room rift|
|Jonas will be given a chance - Pardew|
|AFC asks Australia to increase security for Asian Cup|
|D´Ambrosio sets Inter sights on third|
|Williams wants Swansea to share goalscoring burden|
|Saudi Arabia appoint Olaroiu|
|Martinez lauds Barkley|
|Thierry Henry announces retirement|
|Rooney: United can win title|
|ES Setif v Western Sydney Wanderers: Topor-Stanley to miss fifth-place play-off|
|Beasley calls time on international career|
|Tena: We expect to face Real´s best|
|Martinez wary of Young Boys´ artificial pitch|
|Dudek: Everyone under pressure at Liverpool|
|Martinez hails ´devastating´ attack|
|Redknapp: QPR´s road woes more than bad luck|
|Defeat harsh on QPR - Redknapp|