Ange Postecoglou wants the Socceroos to take their game to another level in their 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ Qualifier against Bangladesh in Perth on Thursday night.
While three points against the world’s 170th-ranked nation is paramount at nib Stadium, the Socceroos boss also wants to see progression from his emerging side.
Not only winning football, but free-flowing, vibrant, attacking football is his mantra.
“There’s always a little bit of excitement amongst the players. It’s their first home game since the Asian Cup and we haven’t been to Perth for a long time,” Postecoglou told reporters on Wednesday.
“We had a great turnout at the fan day yesterday and I’m sure there will be a buzz in the stadium. A perfect night for us would be to play well and also entertain the crowd but the most important thing is we keep progressing our football.
“We want to put on a show. It’s three important points and the more points you get earlier in this campaign, the less likely of a banana-skin down the track.”
With Chris Ikonomidis joining the camp on Tuesday night, all 23 players will training together for the first time at nib Stadium just 24 hours before the match.
Postecoglou confirmed young ‘keeper Alex Cisak won’t be starting on Thursday but said every member of the squad is fit for selection and hinted he would wait until match-morning before finalising his starting XI.
With a number of players forced to miss the match through injury and just two training sessions before the match, Postecoglou admits it’s been a less-than-ideal build-up for his squad.
While admitting it’s been a distraction it won’t be an excuse from getting their desired result on Thursday night.
“This is a World Cup qualifier, it’s not a friendly game and the sole focus is on the game and that’s it,” Postecoglou said.
“We’re under no illusions if it doesn’t go well tomorrow night, no-one’s going to care about anything that’s been discussed over the last 48 hours, all they are going to care about is how come we didn’t win a game of football in a World Cup qualifier.
“That ain’t going to happen on my watch.”
Bangladesh head to Australia with just one point from their opening two qualifiers and off the back of a 0-0 friendly draw with Malaysia last weekend. Australia has three points after an opening game win in Kyrgyzstan.
Bangladesh's Dutch coach Lodewijk de Kruif knows his side has a massive task in front of them but declared they won’t shirk the challenge.
“We know [Australia] is number one in Asia, a good team, a lot of good players that are playing in Europe so we are absolutely the underdog,” he said.
“Of course we have our tactics. We will start the match very motivated and very eager to get a good result.
“It’s a wonderful experience for my team and anything can happen in football. My players are not afraid, they have respect but they are not coming as a tourist here.”
Socceroo Match Details
Australia v Bangladesh
3 September 2015
nib Stadium, Perth
7pm (AWT) kick off (9pm AEST)
Tajikistan v Australia
8 September 2015
Republican Central Stadium, Dushanbe
6pm kick off (10pm AEST)
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