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.
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.
“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.”
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.”
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.”
When are your Caltex Socceroos in action this weekend?
Awer Mabil and FC Midtjylland are out to flag their Danish Superliga intentions this weekend against Nordsjaellan... Midtjylland got their new campaign off to a winning start last Saturday morning as Mikael Anderson struck a 90th-minute winner in a 1-0 victory over Esbjerg.
Heat, humidity, altitude and air miles: what the Caltex Socceroos can expect on the road to Qatar
The Caltex Socceroos? road to Qatar 2022 is likely to be a long and winding one, featuring intense heat, humidity, altitude and countless air miles. Having received a bye through their first round of Asian Football Confederation qualifying for FIFA World Cup 2022, Graham Arnol
‘I’m loving being back’: Behich beams about return to Turkey
Caltex Socceroos defender Aziz Behich has his sights set on Champions League football with new club ?stanbul Ba?ak?ehir FK after making a ?smooth transition? back into Turkish Football. After spending last season in Holland at PSV Eindhoven, Behich has returned to Turkey where
Gary van Egmond names maiden Young Socceroos squad
New Young Socceroos Head Coach Gary van Egmond today named his maiden squad in charge of Australia?s under-20 men?s national football team. Van Egmond has selected 30 players for a training camp at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra from Sunday, 28 July 2019 to Fri