Ange’s message before crucial World Cup qualifier

Before Australia walk out tonight, Ange Postecoglou will get inside the heads of his Caltex Socceroos with a clear message.

He'll be stressing that if his players "stick with the principles that have got us this far" they'll give themselves the best chance of success. 

Tonight in Perth, Australia kick off the final phase of World Cup group qualification against 2007 Asian Cup champions Iraq. 

Caltex Socceroos' potential starting XI for Iraq

It's kick-off to the business end of qualification for Russia and it's now all about results.   

Caltex Socceroos Chris Ikonomidis, Massimo Luongo and Brad Smith.

And with a group that also includes Japan, Saudi Arabia, Thailand and UAE, this is far from an easy task. 

Postecoglou will also highlight what World Cup qualification would mean for Australia’s opposition. 

“All nations [in Australia’s group] are a chance to make the World Cup, and if you think what that would mean to a nation like a Iraq, UAE, Saudi, Thailand what it would mean to these sorts of countries to go to a World Cup.

“Think about what it meant to us in 2005 and in 1974 then you know it's going to be a tough game [against Iraq],” he said.

“It'll be a tough game no doubt about it. We've been following Iraq since the draw when we knew they were in our group  so we know everything we need to know about them.

The Caltex Socceroos celebrate Mathew Leckie scoring in one of their June friendlies against Greece.

“And we know our players will be prepared for them. Iraq are very resilient and very committed.

“Technically in the front third they have they have some players of quality who can cause problems and they will be very disciplined in their approach.”

So, with a full house expected to fill the stadium, and with an excellent playing surface, all that is left is the Aussie fans to make a difference and be the twelfth man.

Because, as Postecoglou rightly points out, the Australians will face some tough receptions in their away clashes in the group.

“Yes it is a good surface, we trained there yesterday and it's a rectangular stadium with a big crowd hopefully one that’s vocal and passionate.

“We need that and we are certainly going to face that away from home when we go to Saudi, Japan and Thailand - they are going to be pretty challenging environments. 

“And even the second game in UAE, whilst they may not be the vocal and passionate crowd it's going to be 42 degrees.

Socceroos and Greece players shake hands before kick-off at Etihad Stadium in Melbourne.

All of these kind of things we're ready to overcome but I'd love to throw some challenges at the opposition that weren't just about us but about where they are playing.

So hopefully we can have a really loud, vocal and passionate crowd behind us to intimidate the opposition.”

And his final message to the players?

“It's an understanding of what lies ahead, the challenges of a particular opponent and making sure we stick to the principles that have got us to this point.

“If we do that we'll be fine.”