Ange demands Caltex Socceroos progress with style

Caltex Socceroos boss Ange Postecoglou isn’t just content with advancing to the next phase of FIFA 2018 World Cup qualification, demanding his side do it in style against Jordan on Tuesday night.

Australia needs just a draw against the Jordanians in Sydney to book their spot in the next stage, which gets underway in September.

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While in the past a scratchy performance to get the required result might have been deemed as adequate, it’s not on Postecoglou’s watch.

“I’ll let other people worry about results and top of the table and seeds. 

"If we get a scrappy result tomorrow night and finish top it’s not going to make me happy,” he told reporters on Monday.

Caltex Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou on the sideline at the Adelaide Oval on Thursday night.

“We want to keep progressing our football. The win and top of the group will be a by-product of us playing some good football. 

"It’s about us continuing to grow in the international arena.

“You’re only going to see the best of our guys once they have 20-30 games, we’re getting to that stage now with some of our guys, some of them are still less than 10.

“All these games are really important for them to grow as footballers. It’s always about the performance for us; just getting the result is not the point for us at the moment.”

Socceroos players celebrate Massimo Luongo's early strike against Tajikistan.

Much of the talk in the build-up – among the players especially – has been about redemption for the 2-0 defeat in Amman last October.

It’s the Socceroos’ only blemish in this stage of qualifying to date and was a result and performance that stung the Asian champions.

But Postecoglou is adamant revenge won’t be the motivating factor come 8pm [AEDT] at Allianz on Tuesday.

“Revenge is best left to the movies, this is real life,” the Socceroos boss said.

“Whether that’s against an opponent who beat us last time or we beat, it doesn’t really matter. If we win tomorrow night it’s not going to erase what happened in Jordan.

“We want to go out, progress our football and finish this group off strongly. I think we’ve got better as the qualification proves has developed and we want to finish it off tomorrow night.”

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The Caltex Socceroos celebrate Mile Jedinak's first-half penalty against Tajikistan.

The goal since Postecoglou took over has always been about improving the depth in the squad, up to the point where he had at least two players for each position.

Asked if he felt he had reached that scenario now, he said: “It’s evolving. We’re certainly closer now than we were 12 months ago.

“I think we’re a stronger team than we were 12 months ago and that’s because we have more depth.

“[But] we have to stay disciplined and make sure we’re always looking and giving opportunities to guys that warrant it and making sure the guys in the squad are aware of the expectations."

He added of Jordan, who have conceded just two goals in qualifying so far: “We back ourselves against any defence. If Jordan wants to sit back and make it hard for us, it’s nothing we haven’t faced before and nothing we haven’t overcome before.”

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