The Caltex Socceroos are embracing the make-or-break nature of their FIFA World Cup qualifying series against Syria, according to Tim Cahill.
Success over two legs against Syria will feed Australia into an intercontinental playoff for a place at Russia 2018.
And ahead of Thursday night’s first leg in neutral Melaka, Cahill says the Socceroos will get onto the front foot as they look to dominate proceedings at the cavernous Hang Jebat Stadium.
“It's a cut-throat time – if we don't win over these two games, we're out,” the 102-cap icon told reporters in Malaysia ahead of tonight's first leg.
“Yes, you want to go through in the group but you also understand how difficult it is to qualify and how ruthless this qualifying stage can be for us.
“We really want to dictate the game [tonight] and stay the same as we have in every game.
“We want to dominate the ball and win and then take them back to Australia and finish the job off properly.
“We're under no illusions that it's going to be a tough game.
“But we also know we've got enough to do the job and we really want to embrace this challenge and start off on the front foot with the right result,” he said.
Despite the sudden-death nature of the next 180 minutes, Cahill insisted there hasn't been a change in mindset from coach Ange Postecoglou or the playing group.
“We're not fazed – it’s the same concept we've had for three and half years,” he said.
“That's the beautiful thing about this group - there are 40 to 60 players who have been used as part of this journey and in every single game, we dominate.
“Looking to the future, we want the opportunity to represent our country at a World Cup.
“But first we have to earn that right,” said Cahill.
Opponent Watch: ‘He must have 15 lungs’
Paul Pogba has been a key figure in France’s two wins at the2018 FIFA World Cup™ but reserved some special praise for a couple of his midfield partners. Plus another blow for reigning champions Germany ahead of their must-win clash, while there’s some harsh criticism for Argen
Milligan backs France to do their bit for Socceroos
Mark Milligan remains confident the Socceroos can progress to the knockout phase at the FIFA World Cup™, backing France to help Australia’s cause by beating Denmark. The Socceroos head into the final match against Peru (Wednesday morning AEST live on SBS and Optus Sport) with
Mexico coach's special praise for Socceroos
Mexico might have produced the result which has made the biggest impact at the FIFA World Cup™ - beating world champions Germany – but their coach has been impressed by the performances of the Socceroos. Juan Carlos Osorio – who masterminded El Tri’s shock 1-0 win of the Germa
Russia Watch: Tearful Neymar sparks relief for Brazil
Neymar became Brazil’s third-highest scorer of all-time as the South American’s left it late to pick up their first win of the 2018 FIFA World Cup™. Elsewhere, there was late drama in Switzerland’s clash with Serbia while the Super Eagles of Nigeria boosted their hopes of a be