Key Socceroo Massimo Luongo believes Australia's attacking chemistry is now bedded-in and is excited about what playmaker Tom Rogic will add to the side’s arsenal in upcoming 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Qualifiers™.
Ange Postecoglou’s side will play two qualifiers over the next week, starting with Bangladesh in Perth on Thursday night, followed by a trip to Tajikistan five days later.
Luongo missed the opening round win against Kyrgyzstan through injury but is back in the green and gold and in scintillating form.
The QPR creative midfielder is one of a host of Socceroos to have started their overseas campaigns at the top of their game.
Mathew Leckie scored his first Bundesliga goal over the weekend while Celtic’s Rogic has been sensational and makes his long-awaited national team return.
“When I saw the squad list come out I was quite excited,” Luongo told reporters in Perth on Tuesday.
“I haven’t actually played with Tom Rogic but just from watching him and from what I’ve heard it’s going to be exciting.
“Especially when he turns up in those pockets and you can give him the ball and trust him on the ball…it’s the same with [Mathew] Leckie.
“Unfortunately Robbie Kruse isn’t here but the boys we have in the squad, it’s really threatening in attack. It will be good to watch, it always is.”
With skipper Mile Jedinak out through injury, there is a thought Rogic could win a spot in the midfield three alongside Luongo and the experienced Mark Milligan.
It’s an enticing thought, especially behind a front three of Tim Cahill, Leckie and Nathan Burns who are also in peak form.
“Besides Tommy [Rogic] the attacking chemistry is already there. We’ve been working at it long enough, even before the [2014 FIFA] World Cup,” Luongo said.
“Everyone’s quite familiar with their roles, even if they play a different position in that front half, everyone gets their roles and other peoples roles and it will mix well.
“No one plays off the cuff; we all know what we’re doing and our roles. It will all be quite smooth.”
Luongo has enjoyed a great start to life with QPR in the English Championship, playing a key role in the side’s strong start to the new season.
The 22-year-old says he’s not surprised how comfortably he’s handled the jump up from League One but admits he’s worked overtime on his game to adjust to the transition.
Even with his club form and heroics during January’s Asian Cup, Luongo says he still needs to prove himself in training over the next couple of days to win a starting role against the Bengal Tigers.
“I don’t feel safe [with my spot], I think Ange has put that point across that no one should feel comfortable in the national team,” he said.
“I still I don’t think I feel comfortable. Every time I come here I feel I have to fight for my spot.”
Socceroo Match Details
Australia v Bangladesh Tajikistan v Australia
3 September 2015 8 September 2015
nib Stadium, Perth Republican Central Stadium, Dushanbe
7pm (AWT) kick off (9pm AEST)6pm kick off (10pm AEST)
In-form Vukovic earns Genk contract extension
Caltex Socceroos goalkeeper Danny Vukovic has been rewarded for his excellent form with a two-season contract extension at Belgian club KRC Genk. The 33-year-old's deal was due to expire at the end of the campaign but the Pro League leaders have taken up their option to extend
Aussies Abroad: Vukovic’s Genk beaten in battle of Belgium’s top two
Danny Vukovic’s Genk remain well clear on top of the table despite falling to a rare defeat in Belgium against Club Brugge overnight. In a meeting of the competition’s top two at the Jan Breydel Stadion, Genk were beaten the fired-up home side, going down 3-1. There was lit
Aussies Abroad: Ryan’s Brighton through to Quarter-Finals while Milligan, Giannou pick up strong results
There were a handful of Caltex Socceroos in action on Sunday morning (AEDT) while some key figures were rested as their clubs negotiated cup ties. Firstly to Europe where Mark Milligan played a full 90 at the heart of Hibernian’s midfield as they welcomed new manager Danny Hec
Aussies Abroad: Luongo gallant in Watford defeat
Caltex Socceroos midfielder Massimo Luongo can turn his attention to the EFLChampionship after QPR crashed out of the FA Cup on Saturday morning (AEDT). The 26-year-old played the full 90 minutes in QPR’s 1-0 loss to Watford at Loftus Road, in a tight game where each side cou