Caltex Socceroo striker Nathan Burns is ecstatic to be back in the national team and he's hoping the Australians can dominate their World Cup qualifier with Thailand from the kick off.
After the frustration of missing last month’s two games against Saudi Arabia and Japan, Burns has returned to the fold fresh from his latest J-League season with FC Tokyo.
And now he's pushing for a spot in the clash with Thailand on November 15 in Bangkok.
“It was obviously disappointing,” the J-League forward told FFA TV when quizzed about missing out on Socceroo selection last month.
“Maybe my form in club football was the reason I didn’t get picked. I was battling to get into the squad [at FC Tokyo].
“And so that was the expectation that Ange has for the players to be playing week in week out.
“But in saying that it was for about the last 18 months I was in every [Caltex Socceroos] squad, and featured in the majority of the matches.
"So it’s just an eye opener to get back on the pitch and work hard and get your position back.”
The Caltex Socceroos have started arriving in the Thai capital ahead of the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier with Thailand on Tuesday 15 November.
Burns and Chinese-based defender Matthew Spiranovic were amongst the first to arrive in Bangkok after their respective domestic competitions ended last weekend.
The FC Tokyo man was relishing the opportunity to train with his Aussie team mates for a full week as opposed to the usual schedule of arrive, recover and play the players usually have to contend with when playing international matches.
The Caltex Socceroos head into the clash at the Rajamangala Stadium unbeaten after four games with eight points in their group.
The aim from the Thai clash is to have 11 points from the first five games in what is the final national team game of 2016.
If Australia wins next week, it should solidify their position in Group B heading into the final five qualifiers in 2017. They could even end up on top of the group.
“We’re in a good position,” noted Burns, 28, who has Cup commitments over the coming month in Japan before he ends his season.
“And our football is improving, which is what Ange wants. And the depending on the other match in the group, we could be top of the group, which is where we want to be.”
On the night Thailand host the Caltex Socceroos, Japan welcome Saudi Arabia in Saitama in what is now a group blockbuster.
The Saudis are currently top of Group B with ten points, followed by Australia on eight in second spot and the third-placed Japanese on seven points.
“We need to get off to a good start [against Thailand] and then get on top of them and control the tempo because in these conditions you don’t know what the weather will be like.
"So an early goal will settle things," added Burns.
Gallery: Caltex Socceroos camp in pictures
The Caltex Socceroos are looking ahead to November's twin matches in a positive mindframe after comfortably accounting for Kuwait 4-0 in a friendly earlier this week. Australia's impressive win came as reward for the hard work done during a Dubai training camp in the lead-up t
Progress report: Mark Milligan
With the AFC Asian Cup appearing quickly on the horizon, we’re delivering weekly scouting reports on some of our Caltex Socceroos playing abroad. This week the spotlight is on Mark Milligan, an experienced member of the national team who has made a flawless start to life in Eu
Caltex Socceroos meet young Aussie ‘Playmakers’ in the UAE
The Caltex Socceroos took time out after training to meet with some young Australian fans in the United Arab Emirates last week ahead of Monday’s solid 4-0 win over Kuwait in Kuwait City. The young Australians, who live in the UAE, are part of the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019’s Play
‘An amazing story’: Patrice Evra leads social media tributes to Mabil, Deng debuts
There was a lot to like about the Caltex Socceroos win over Kuwait on Tuesday (AEDT) but arguably the biggest highlight was the international debuts of youngsters Awer Mabil and Thomas Deng. The pair were both second-half substitutes and combined on the right flanks, with Mabi