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.”