D'Agostino: We've got a lot of belief

As attention turns to June, Socceroos striker Nick D'Agostino has given an insight into the squad's mindset as they prepare to battle it out for a place at the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.

With AFC issued 4.5 slots for the final tournament by FIFA, Australia is only two wins away from qualification through the play-offs.

Graham Arnold’s side will head to Doha to take on the United Arab Emirates in a vital AFC Play-off on June 7, with the victorious nation set to face Peru a week later for a place at the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.

Despite missing out on automatic qualification for the FIFA World Cup, D'Agostino insisted there is enough belief within the squad to qualify for a fifth consecutive tournament. 

“Australian football has definitely had a lot of great moments over the years, but some people want to talk and say there are difficult moments and difficult periods,” D'Agostino told The Official A-Leagues Podcast

“I think at the moment, we've got a lot of good players who are playing around the world in good leagues and good competitions. 

“A lot of people talk about the A-League and say that it's not as high as other leagues but actually being a player in the A-League, I don't think people understand how competitive it is and how high the standard it actually is. 

Personally, I think we're in great stead to qualify. There's a lot of belief individually and as a group that we are going to make the World Cup.

“We've got to take it one step at a time, get together and gel and obviously, put in performances that the country will be proud of. Arnie instils that belief in everyone. 

“I’m full of confidence that we are going to get there and I think everyone else who has been a part of the squad or has been part of the journey is as well.

“I honestly can't wait and fingers crossed, if I keep playing well, that I can actually make the squad because that would be another great experience for me.”

Having impressed at youth level with the Olyroos, D'Agostino relished his first call-up with the Green and Gold at senior level. 

While the experience may have been daunting for some, D'Agostino said the transition from Olyroo to Socceroo made it easier to integrate into the senior setup. 

“There were a few friendly faces that I knew from the Olyroos camp that I had with me at the Olympics so I wasn't too out of my comfort zone,” he explained. 

Being in camp was just a great, great atmosphere to be around. There's a lot of big, big characters and it's just just a special feeling to be a part of. 

“But getting called over to make my debut was just a moment that I'll never forget, that's for sure.”

With Melbourne Victory riding a club-record 13-match unbeaten league run, D'Agostino has enjoyed one of his best A-League Men campaigns.

The 24-year-old has scored eight goals so far and he is hoping to reach double figures as he eyes another call-up to the national team. 

“I've got to perform for my club. I want to keep scoring goals, I want to keep playing and just feel good,” D'Agostino said. 

“I want to keep the body right, keep the mind right and everything else will fall into place.

“If you're performing week in, week out and game in, game out, things happen so that’s what I’m focused on for the moment.

“There's obviously a lot of talented players around the league and around the world that can still play for Australia so there is a lot of competition, but I love a challenge. It makes me even hungrier to want to do better.”