Kruse hopeful of 'extra sweet' FIFA World Cup spot
Caltex Socceroos winger Robbie Kruse admits he has extra incentive to achieve the FIFA World Cup dream that was cruelly robbed from him in 2014.
Kruse, then impressing in his debut season at Bayer Leverkusen, was due to play a key part in Australia's attempt to escape a tough group in Brazil four years ago.
But an untimely anterior cruciate ligament injury cut short his campaign and denied him a place at football's greatest event.
It's a difficult memory that provides greater motivation this time around, although the 29-year-old is aware there are no guarantees under Bert van Marwijk.
"Obviously you have to make the squad first. When a new manager comes in, it's a completely different ball game," Kruse told socceroos.com.au.
"What was in the previous regime has changed.
"Whether the coach likes you is a big factor. Everyone here, myself included, is just trying to do the best they can, to show our case.
"Obviously for me it would be wonderful to go to the World Cup.
"I have had a lot of caps in my career but have failed to go to a World Cup because of injury, so it would be extra sweet to go to this one. But there is still a lot to happen between now and then."
Kruse is currently with the Caltex Socceroos in London, where they are preparing for a friendly against Colombia on Wednesday morning (AEDT).
The now-Vfl Bochum forward says the squad won't be dispirited by the disappointing defeat to Norway in Oslo.
"Obviously it's difficult to gauge. We have only been in camp for three training sessions before the game, so you can't expect miracle changes and to pick up the new tactics so quickly," he said.
"I think that will be predominantly for May - that's when the coaching staff have a good three weeks before the tournament where they can nail down their tactics and implement the way they want to play.
"However, in saying that, the boys are still disappointed. It probably wasn't our best performance, but like I said, we will get better."
Caltex Socceroos v Colombia
WHEN: Wednesday, March 28 - kick-off 6am AEDT
WHERE: Craven Cottage, London, England
HOW TO WATCH: Live on Fox Sports and Network Ten
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