Tim Cahill wasn't impressed with the Socceroos' performance in their 2-0 semi-final victory over UAE which booked the Aussies a spot in the Asian Cup final against South Korea on Saturday.
“It was a really unique feeling come off the pitch afterwards into the changing rooms, sitting down with Mile and just saying "We know we probably could have done better,” he told reporters after the semi-final win in Newcastle.
“It wasn't too upbeat. Nobody is really getting carried away… When we look at the game today, are we really happy with the way we play? Not really.”
But having the chance to make football history is putting a smile on the talisman’s face as the Asian Cup final – in the city he was born – is to be played at Sydney’s Stadium Australia.
"Finally, for that to happen, to have the backing of everyone, is going to be amazing - but it's only what we deserve, purely for footballing reasons," he said.
“I'm not going to focus on Korea, I've never focused on any team we've played,” he added.
“I'm going to focus on us. I'm going to focus on recovery and the boys being as fit as possible and really understanding the position we're in.
“If we dictate games with our intensity, our style of football and the way we move the ball, it's going to be very hard for any team to play us.
“Congratulations to Korea but it's going to be all about us - the way we prepare, apply ourselves and the consistency we've shown throughout this tournament.”
Cahill added the crowd would be a factor in helping Australia but ultimately it was about the Socceroos executing their high-intensit game plan and taking their chances when they come.
""We had 20,00-odd people [in Newcastle], it didn't matter where we played or where you put us, it's going to be a special moment for all of us playing in Sydney, with our family.
“But our mindset is all about winning and to win the right way, playing football and what we believe in. It's going to be a big night.”
The Socceroos will face Korea Republic in the AFC Asian Cup Final at Stadium Australia on Saturday 31 January (8.00pm local kick off). Click here to purchase tickets.
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
When to watch your Caltex Socceroos this weekend
There's FA Cup action on the cards for two Australians this weekend as another prepares for a massive top-of-the-table encounter. Multiple players are involved in matches with major title ramifications, while Mark Milligan has a new manager to impress in Scotland. Read on t
Aussies Abroad: Vukovic keeps clean sheet as Genk earn crucial away result
Danny Vukovic was the only Caltex Socceroo in action on Friday morning (AEDT) as his Genk side secured a 0-0 away draw against Slavia Prague in the UEFA Europa League Round of 32. Vukovic played a crucial role in earning a clean sheet, making five saves as Slavia bombarded the