Socceroo coach Ange Postecoglou isn’t buying into the growing hype around his team, saying he is only focussed on improvement after the green and gold steamrolled Oman 4-0 in the Asian Cup on Tuesday night.
The Socceroos ran over the top of Oman in their second group game of the Cup after a scorching opening 45 minutes to qualify for the quarter-finals with one game left in the group.
Three goals before the break all but sealed the result with Matt McKay, Robbie Kruse and Mark Milligan (penalty) on the scoresheet, before substitute Tomi Juric made it four after the break in front of over 50,000 fans at Stadium Australia.
But Postecoglou only has eyes for improvement as the green and gold head to Brisbane for their final group match against Korea Republic.
“We went up another level tonight, as we expected. And we expect to improve as we go through the tournament," he told reporters after the game.
“And we still have improvement in us, and from my perspective I’ll be emphasising to the players that what they’ve done so far has been good, but we certainly can get better.”
Juric’s neat finish made it eight different scorers for the Socceroos in their first two games of the Cup following Saturday’s 4-1 defeat of Kuwait in Melbourne.
“It just shows the even contribution of the team and the way the players have embraced the way we want to play, we have multiple threats,” said Postecoglou.
"The way we play makes it very hard for the opposition. We made three changes tonight and we made some early substitutions but as you saw the team didn’t miss a beat.”
Postecoglou vowed to make changes for the Korea Republic clash, saying it was always going to be a squad effort in the Asian Cup after harsh lessons learnt from the World Cup.
What's more, the friendly with Japan in November showed Postecoglou that the team was on the right track despite a 2-1 loss.
"That was the turning point," he said.
"We had a good ten days in camp and I could see the players were embracing what we were doing and whilst we didn't win in Japan, from a coaching perspective we were really encouraged.
"We thought if we could do that against a very good Japanese side, then we were on the right track."
As for the hype, Postecoglou played it down.
"I reckon I'll handle it okay," he said with a chuckle.
"I've handled everyone writing us off, so I think I'll handle the hype."
He added: "I'm sure there's some bloke at FIFA doing the rankings with a headache wondering how a team ranked as low as we are can play that kind of football."
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