Massimo Luongo says the Caltex Socceroos' ability to create goals from all over the pitch is their biggest strength heading into Friday morning’s FIFA World Cup qualifier against Saudi Arabia.
“That’s the one thing we don’t really focus on in training because we know the chances can come from all over the pitch,” midfielder Luongo told FFA TV.
“The creativity we have is very good. And it’s not just midfield, even in our fullback areas. We have Brad Smith’s pace, he can get up and back and deliver a cross from anywhere.
“We have so many threats all over the pitch which does help. On the odd day when we’re not having the best game, someone can pull something out of the bag and give us a bit of a lift.”
Luongo was that man in the first qualifier against Iraq, arriving late into the box to score the opening goal of the 2-0 win in Perth.
The 24-year-old plays a deeper-lying role for club side QPR in England’s Championship, featuring in 11 matches so far this season for Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink’s side.
And his not the only Aussie midfielder producing the goods in the Championship, with Aaron Mooy (Huddersfield) and Jackson Irvine (Burton Albion) both making a big impression in the league below the EPL.
“Azza [Mooy] just keeps their team kicking, he’s the heart of their team," Luongo said.
“And they are a good side, they’ve come a long way from what I used to know Huddersfield were like. They play really good football, patient football and I think he has a really good role in that team.
“Jackson has done really well and impressed me the most because no one has expected them to do really well. They are not the biggest club, they just [got promoted] and names wise they haven’t got anyone big, but as a team they stick in there, they are hard workers and I think Jackson has found his perfect role in their team.
“I remember playing against him the amount of late runs he did and I had to track him. I had to track him because I didn’t want Jackson scoring against me.
“He was definitely a threat we looked at when we played against him. You can see where he’s getting his goals from and how important he is for his team.”
Ange Postecoglou put his side through a rigorous 80-minute session in the afternoon heat in Jeddah on Tuesday, with youngsters Craig Goodwin and James Jeggo joining the squad for the first time.
Tim Cahill, Mooy, Tom Rogic, Mile Jedinak, Mat Ryan, Mathew Leckie and Robbie Kruse all trained strongly as the side lifted the intensity ahead of Friday morning’s (AEDT) top-of-the-group clash.