Mathew Leckie has fired a warning to the Socceroos rivals in their FIFA World Cup Russia 2018™ qualifying group, declaring there’s no team that can get near them when they are in the mood they were on Thursday night.
Bangladesh was blown away by the Socceroos at nib Stadium as Ange Postecoglou’s side put on an attacking masterclass prevailing 5-0.
The likes of Leckie, Tom Rogic, Massimo Luongo, Nathan Burns and Aaron Mooy combined brilliantly for the home side.
“With Aaron Mooy and Tommy Rogic, they just came into the camp but they know what we’re doing straight away,” Leckie told reporters on Friday.
“Every single training session we’re driving the same things and everyone’s on the same page.
“Especially in that midfield there’s very good technical players that can play in very tight areas and I think the way we’re playing at the moment, the game style, it fits to all the players we have in the squad.
“Obviously Bangladesh wasn’t up to the standard but if we can do that against good teams I think they won’t be able to stop us either.”
It’s not the kind of message Tajikistan’s players will want to hear ahead of their clash with the Socceroos in Dushanbe on Tuesday night.
Leckie, who started the rout with just his second-ever international goal, says the side gained a lot of confidence from the ease of their win but knows it will be a different proposition on the road.
“Home and away games are two different things. We already had the tough game against Kyrgyzstan and I think on Tuesday it won’t be any different,” the FC Ingolstadt attacker said.
“Obviously we have to play on a synthetic pitch as well which is another challenge. But we’re definitely going to be ready for that game and we’ll have ourselves organized.
“We’ve got a lot of confidence going into the game and I’m sure if we can continue to play like we did last night we shouldn’t have too many problems.”
After scoring his first Bundesliga goal for his club last weekend, Leckie conceded it was a relief to add to his national team tally.
“It’s always good to score. That’s two in two now,” he said with a smile.
“It’s obviously been a while for the national team so it was exciting.
“The result was very good as well. It’s been a while since we beat a team 5-0, it was good fun last night.”
Leckie was one of a host of impressive Socceroos on Thursday night and probably should have had a few more goals given some of the chances he had.
Not that coach Ange Postecoglou is still concerned, outlining Leckie’s importance to the side is more than just about his goals.
“People focus on the fact he hasn’t scored for a while but for the things we measure as a team he's been a really important part of what we do,” Postecoglou said of Leckie.
“He works so hard both in an attacking sense and defensive sense. He's always a threat. He’s a striker and all strikers get frustrated when they’re not scoring goals so I was pleased he got one [against Bangladesh].
“He’s always dangerous and more importantly he is one of the most disciplined in his role because he knows what he needs to do in his position and he does it all the time."
Opponent Watch: ‘He must have 15 lungs’
Paul Pogba has been a key figure in France’s two wins at the2018 FIFA World Cup™ but reserved some special praise for a couple of his midfield partners. Plus another blow for reigning champions Germany ahead of their must-win clash, while there’s some harsh criticism for Argen
Milligan backs France to do their bit for Socceroos
Mark Milligan remains confident the Socceroos can progress to the knockout phase at the FIFA World Cup™, backing France to help Australia’s cause by beating Denmark. The Socceroos head into the final match against Peru (Wednesday morning AEST live on SBS and Optus Sport) with
Mexico coach's special praise for Socceroos
Mexico might have produced the result which has made the biggest impact at the FIFA World Cup™ - beating world champions Germany – but their coach has been impressed by the performances of the Socceroos. Juan Carlos Osorio – who masterminded El Tri’s shock 1-0 win of the Germa
Russia Watch: Tearful Neymar sparks relief for Brazil
Neymar became Brazil’s third-highest scorer of all-time as the South American’s left it late to pick up their first win of the 2018 FIFA World Cup™. Elsewhere, there was late drama in Switzerland’s clash with Serbia while the Super Eagles of Nigeria boosted their hopes of a be