Casting aside bad memories of their last trip to Jordan, midfielder Matt McKay says the Socceroos are confident of handling the charged atmosphere of their FIFA Russia World Cup 2018™ Qualifier group blockbuster in Amman.
Ange Postecoglou’s squad is a perfect three-from-three in qualifying so far and will take another giant stride towards Russia 2018 if they can win in the early hours of Friday morning (AEDT).
“We’re very confident. Coming off the win in January in the Asian Cup, confidence is high and the boys have taken that back to club level,” McKay told FFA TV.
“Hopefully it can continue and build on these performances we’ve got. There’s no point going backwards, we’ve got to get better each time we come into camp.
“They are always short camps and we have to make the most of them and progress as a team and I think we’ve been doing that the last couple of games.”
Jordan has proved a thorn in the Socceroos side in the past, beating the green and gold 2-1 in qualifying for the last World Cup.
McKay admitted to “not having the greatest memories” of that clash and warned his team-mates to expect an unwelcoming reception from the home fans.
“It’s going to be hostile, they are very much behind their team, very loud, parochial,” McKay said of the home fans.
“Most of the boys have played around the world, in big leagues they’ll be able to experience it but it’s just about sticking to our game plan. If we can execute it we’ll be alright.
“On paper it’s 1 v 2 [in the group], we know they are a good side. It will be a test but if we can control the game, which is most important in these away games, we’ll go a long way to setting us up for the rest of the group stage.”
One of the more experienced members of the Socceroo squad now, McKay admits he’s been blown away at the quality of depth in the squad these days.
Even without regular skipper Mile Jedinak through injury, Postecoglou has a wealth of option in midfield, with Tom Rogic and Aaron Mooy showing they were up to international level during the previous qualifiers last month.
“But that’s all over the park to be honest. Our midfield is very strong, our wingers and forwards, the depth there is incredible,” the Brisbane Roar skipper said.“It’s great for the boss to pick a team that can do a job and he will. Everyone’s working hard to make sure the squad’s pushing everyone and making sure our team that gets out there does the job.”