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.”
In-form Vukovic earns Genk contract extension
Caltex Socceroos goalkeeper Danny Vukovic has been rewarded for his excellent form with a two-season contract extension at Belgian club KRC Genk. The 33-year-old's deal was due to expire at the end of the campaign but the Pro League leaders have taken up their option to extend
Aussies Abroad: Vukovic’s Genk beaten in battle of Belgium’s top two
Danny Vukovic’s Genk remain well clear on top of the table despite falling to a rare defeat in Belgium against Club Brugge overnight. In a meeting of the competition’s top two at the Jan Breydel Stadion, Genk were beaten the fired-up home side, going down 3-1. There was lit
Aussies Abroad: Ryan’s Brighton through to Quarter-Finals while Milligan, Giannou pick up strong results
There were a handful of Caltex Socceroos in action on Sunday morning (AEDT) while some key figures were rested as their clubs negotiated cup ties. Firstly to Europe where Mark Milligan played a full 90 at the heart of Hibernian’s midfield as they welcomed new manager Danny Hec
Aussies Abroad: Luongo gallant in Watford defeat
Caltex Socceroos midfielder Massimo Luongo can turn his attention to the EFLChampionship after QPR crashed out of the FA Cup on Saturday morning (AEDT). The 26-year-old played the full 90 minutes in QPR’s 1-0 loss to Watford at Loftus Road, in a tight game where each side cou