Kruse targets regular starting berth

Rising star Robbie Kruse has had a taste of being a starter for the Qantas Socceroos and is eager for more of the same, starting against Lebanon on Thursday.

Rising star Robbie Kruse has had a taste of being a starter for the Qantas Socceroos and is eager for more of the same, starting against Lebanon on Thursday.

The 23-year-old collected his 19th national team cap against Scotland last month, with all previous 18 coming off the bench.

However, with a promising showing against the Scots, coupled with some impressive showings in Germany-s Bundesliga, Kruse-s ambition to become a Qantas Socceroo regular is as realistic as ever.

“It was my first start against Scotland, so I-ve nineteen caps now and I want to start to cement myself as a starting player,” Kruse said.

“Hopefully now I-m playing in the Bundesliga, hopefully that puts me in good stead for this now.

“I want to play in the next two games but the boss has his plans and whatever he decides to choose, I-ll adapt to.”

Kruse also admitted there was a lot of expectation on the Qantas Socceroos to get good results against both Lebanon and Jordan.

"The public tends to think there are easy games because the nations aren't so highly ranked or anything like that," he said.

"But it's tough. The conditions are always hard, the travel and to adapt to the field and the referees is always difficult.

"So we are under no illusions that it's going to be tough.

"We need to get the three points because it's getting close to the point now where we have two draws from the first two games, so it's vital for us to win the next one."

Despite largely struggling for consistent match time in the second-tier 2. Bundesliga last season, Kruse has begun his first top-flight German campaign in spectacular fashion.

Fortuna Dusseldorf - who are competing in the Bundesliga for the first time since 1997 - have deployed Kruse as one of their attacking lynchpins from the starting whistle for each of their league matches to date.

In their season opener away to Augsburg, Kruse laid on the final pass to teammate Dani Schahin to seal an impressive 2-0 win, before starting and finishing Dusseldorf-s opening Bundesliga home match last Saturday - a 0-0 draw against Borussia Monchengladbach.

“It-s been a pretty crazy last few months for me, I didn-t think I was really in the plans of the club as much as it-s planning out to be,” Kruse said.

“We had eighteen new players, so I was fortunate enough to have a good pre-season. I-ve started the season really well and we-ve started with four points from the first two games.

“Things are looking good but it-s a long season so we-ll see how it goes.”

The Qantas Socceroos face Lebanon in an international friendly at Saida Municipal Stadium, Saida, at 8.45pm local time (3.45am AEST, Friday, 7 September).*Kick-off moved back by 15 minutes.

Following that, the Qantas Socceroos resume their FIFA World Cup qualification campaign against Jordan in Amman, at 7pm on Tuesday, 11 September (2am AEST, Wednesday, 12 September).

The Qantas Socceroos return to Australia in 2013, for the FIFA World Cup qualifier against Oman at Sydney-s Stadium Australia at 7.30pm, Tuesday, 26 March, followed by Iraq, at 7.30pm on Tuesday, 18 June.

Tickets for both matches at Stadium Australia are on sale now through Ticketek or via phone, 132 849.