Tomi Juric says confidence in his body and a smarter approach from his club FC Luzern is behind his excellent run of form with the Caltex Socceroos.
Juric has started the first three games for Australia in this stage of qualifying, scoring two goals as Ange Postecoglou’s side has enjoyed an unbeaten start to the group stage.
The 25-year-old has also been in consistent touch in the Swiss Super League scoring three goals in 12 appearances for the Markus Babbel-coached Luzern.
After a couple of years where he has struggled with injury, Juric says he’s never felt better and it’s contributing to his form for club and country.
“Staying fit has been a problem of mine in the past. But I’ve been working on that in my club and I’ve got a good set up behind me now,” Juric said on Sunday.
“It’s really helped me to stay on track with my fitness.
“There’s a bit more care with the coaching staff and the strength and conditioning coach as well. The fitness coaches at Luzern are great and have been around for a while.
“They really know what they’re doing and it definitely helps a lot.”
While delighted to have got on the scoresheet again in the 2-2 draw with Saudi Arabia in Jeddah, Juric would happily swap goals for three points against Japan in Melbourne on Tuesday.
With the top four nations in the group separated by just one point, the ex-Western Sydney Wanderers star believes a positive result at Docklands Stadium is crucial.
“Every point is so important. Japan is a good side and while they have had a few shaky results of late, it doesn’t mean they aren’t going to cause us a lot of troubles,” Juric said.
“We need to prepare ourselves as best as we can, we want those three points as much as they do.
“[Japan] are known for their technical players and they have a technical way they play. They will cause us trouble if we’re not careful.
“We have to figure out a way we can stop them and also ways we can continue to play the football we want to play.”
Despite having less than 68 hours from the time they arrived in Melbourne until kick-off on Tuesday night, Juric is confident the squad can recover in time to produce their best against Japan.
“We’re one of the most well-prepared countries in the world,” he said.
“The coaching staff, medical staff, the sports science staff, they really work their butts off to get us well prepared for each game.
“They take care of all the small details that other people may not, which gives us every fighting chance when we need it.”
Aussies Abroad: Jeggo stars in Vienna derby, Ryan edged by Chelsea in Premier League
A clean sheet, a title race and a derby goal headlined an action-packed night for our overseas Australians. In Austria, James Jeggo opened his account for the season in Austria Wien’s 6-1 hammering of Rapid Wien in the Vienna derby. DEGENEK REFLECTS: Caltex Socceroos defend
Aussies Abroad: Luongo, Irvine help sides to important Championship wins
Massimo Luongo and Jackson Irvine both braved atrocious English weather to help steer their sides to Championship victories on Sunday morning (AEDT). And in warmer temperatures, Matt Jurman’s Al Ittihad broke through for their first win of the Saudi Arabia Pro League season at
Degenek not taking his foot off the gas
Twelve months ago, Caltex Socceroos defender Milos Degenek was playing in Japan — now, he’s tearing up Serbia’s SuperLiga, having been named in the league’s best eleven for the first half of the season. It’s a credit to Degenek, 24, who signed with Red Star Belgrade in July
Degenek named in Serbian Superliga's best XI
Caltex Socceroos defender Milos Degenek has been named in the Serbian Superliga’s best eleven players of the first half of the season after his performances for Red Star Belgrade. AUSSIES ABROAD: Sainsbury denies former club Inter in first UCL start READ MORE: Where you can w