Caltex Socceroos eyeing 'next level': Kruse

Robbie Kruse admits he’s loving the Caltex Socceroos’ style under Ange Postecoglou and has challenged his teammates to continue to push themselves with an eye on next year’s Confederations Cup.

Australia kicked off the final stage of World Cup qualifying with an impressive 2-0 win over Iraq in Perth on Thursday night.

But with the Aussies set to face a stern test against the UAE in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday (AEST), Kruse revealed some lofty ambitions for the national team in the years to come.

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“It’s always good when you’re in a team that wants to play football. That’s the boss’ style of play that he wants to implement with the national team and so far it’s worked really well,” Kruse told FFA TV.

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“It’s about taking it to the next level now, not just being satisfied with qualifying for the World Cup.

“It’s about wanting to go the World Cup and the Confederations Cup and actually trying to win something or get as far as we can and be the first team to create history by doing something with the national team.

“I think if we can keep working as hard as we are with the squad we have and the depth we have, I think we’re in good stead for when these tournaments do come around.”

Australia were frustrated by a stubborn Iraqi outfit in the West but were eventually able to break their resistance with goals to Massimo Luongo and Tomi Juric securing the three points.

Although not at their best, Kruse said the Socceroos were always confident of finding the target and kicking off the campaign in style.

Massimo Luongo celebrates with Aaron Mooy and Brad Smith after opening the scoring against Iraq in WCQ.

“It was a tough match, to be expected.  We’re now in the final part of qualifying so it gets to the nitty gritty. We knew what they were going to do, park the bus if you want to say that, “ Kruse said.

“We knew we would break them down eventually, it’s tough to run for 90 minutes.  We did that, it was important to start the campaign off with a win and we did that.”

The Socceroos have arrived in Abu Dhabi after a grueling journey from Australia and were immediately put through a light pool session as they look to recover from Thursday’s match.

The UAE enjoyed a shock 2-1 win over Japan in Saitama to start their campaign and Kruse is expecting a difficult assignment in warm conditions at Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium.

“The conditions and everything are going to be really tough. It’s going to be a tough match but if we apply the same attitude as the last game and the games since we’ve been under Ange I think we’ll be right," he said. 

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“They’re [UAE] extremely good. They’re emerging as a really strong team through this federation we play in.

“We saw in the Asian Cup how good they really are. They beat Japan and we beat them 2-0 in the semi-final which was a really tough test as well.

“They have a lot of individual quality so it’s going to be very difficult.”