Tim Cahill says the Socceroos shouldn’t be too concerned about their defensive struggles and believes the most important thing right now is developing a ruthless streak.
The Socceroos recorded their first win of 2014 by disposing of fellow AFC rivals Saudi Arabia 3-2 at Craven Cottage in London.
Cahill – Australia’s greatest-ever goal-scorer – pounced in just the second minute while skipper Mile Jedinak and debutant Bailey Wright were also on the scoresheet.
But it was another match without a clean-sheet for Ange Postecoglou’s side, who were again guilty of a few lapses in concentration which allowed the Saudis back into the contest.
“All week I’ve been talking about the way we’re playing that we have to be ruthless,” Cahill told Fox Sports.
“When you play against the Asian teams its difficult. It’s a whole different test. A lot of the boys haven’t had this experience of having to be ruthless.
“Our mentality this week has been how are we going to take our football forward and how are we going to progress?
“The goals came and obviously at the end we conceded a few goals but we’re not worried about conceding goals, we’re more worried about the intent for us to play because we’ve got the Asian Cup in January when we need to be ready.”
Postecoglou again put faith in his youngsters, handing Wright his debut while Josh Brillante and Massimo Luongo started in midfield.
Brad Smith also got another chance on the left for the last 30 minutes while Western Sydney Wanderers FC striker Tomi Juric did well in his 20-minute cameo.
“For me as one of the older players, I’ve spent the last three days with Tomi Juric, Tommy Oar, Josh (Brillante) just speaking to them about treating every game like it’s your last,” Cahill said.
“Today I really wanted to see Tomi (Juric) play and you’ve seen he can turn, he’s got power and he can shoot.
“Tommy Oar was brilliant; he put his back to the line and was driving at them. It’s all about confidence.
“You can see progression and I know it’s hard for people to get up in the early hours of the morning and think we’re going to win 5-0 but the icing on the cake is going to be in Australia (for the Asian Cup).“We’ve a few games coming up, we all need to be in camp, we all need to be ready and progressing to try and do that special moment in Australia that’s going to mean everything.”