Ahead of Australia's first home match, Ange Postecoglou has urged green and gold fans to bring the noise and “intimidate” visiting nations during the Socceroos' FIFA 2018 World Cup Russia™ qualifying campaign.
Tonight (Thursday) the Socceroos play their first home qualifier on the Road to Russia when they host Bangladesh in Perth.
Local fans have got right behind the national team since they arrived in Perth and there is sure to be plenty of colour at what will be a sellout crowd at nib Stadium.
“I’d love to get an atmosphere at a Socceroos game like you do at a [Melbourne] Victory or Western Sydney, or even old the Perth Glory games,” Postecoglou said.
“That could help us through what’s going to be a tough qualification phase. You see when we go away how they get behind their teams and make the atmosphere really edgy.
“We’ve got the good pitch which is great and that suits us, but I’d love to have 90-odd minutes of noise as well just to totally intimidate the opposition.
“Anyone who came to Kyrgyzstan will tell you that was a pretty hostile atmosphere. I’d love to see that replicated in Australia in terms of people getting behind the team.
“Thursday night gives us an opportunity for that and we have to be really dominant. Whether it’s Bangladesh or whoever it is we’ll give them due respect and we’ll take the game to them.”
The 170th-ranked Bangladesh aren’t expected to provide much of a test for Postecoglou’s Asian champions, with many expecting the home side to rack up a big score against the AFC minnows.
Despite the advantage of a big home crowd, immaculate playing surface and players in-form right around the globe, Postecoglou is wary.
"It wasn't long ago Faroe Islands were the minnows of European football. They've just knocked off Greece twice," the Socceroos boss said.
"Football's changing quickly and I'd like us to be dominant and win well, but people who are assuming that these games are walkovers then they're not paying attention with what's going on in world football at the moment.
"There's plenty looking to gun us down and we've got to make sure it doesn't happen."
Even if his side can cruise to a comfortable win on Thursday night, that might not be enough the meticulous Socceroo mentor.
Postecoglou had a clear plan when he took over the national team almost two years ago and won’t be happy until they reach his desired destination.
Just qualifying for Russia won’t be enough for Postecoglou, he wants to see continually growth and improvement in everything the team does.
“The last two coaches qualified for the last two World Cups and it wasn’t enough for them so it won’t be enough for me. I’m not interested in just qualifying for the World Cup, that’s the target but we want to qualify as a strong team,” he said.
“To do that every game is important. It doesn’t matter who the opponent is or where you’re playing. Every game is an opportunity for us to grow as a team.
“We’ve got a series of games between now and through to the middle of 2017 with the Confederations Cup to really build a strong team.
“So the team that goes out on Thursday night will be a team that I think will take us another step forward. It’s not about giving guys a game or trying things, it’s about growth.
“When we get to the end point, yes we’ve qualified but we’ve done it with significance, we’re not just happy we made it to another World Cup.”
Following the Bangladesh game, the Socceroos head to Dushanbe for another qualifier against Tajikistan next Tuesday night (AEST).
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)
The Socceroos v Bangladesh match will be broadcast exclusively LIVE on FOX SPORTS 4 (channel 505) and on a one hour delay on SBS.
The 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier – Socceroos v Bangladesh is proudly supported by the State Government through Tourism Western Australia.
TICKET INFORMATION (Australia v Bangladesh)
Tickets can be purchased for the match at www.socceroos.com.au/tickets
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