Ante Milicic has urged his Young Socceroos side not to waste a second at the AFC U-19 Championship as they prepare to meet Korea Republic on Friday night.
A tournament-opening victory for either nation in Indonesia could prove crucial to progressing from a tricky Group C that also includes Jordan and Vietnam.
Milicic is well aware of the danger each opponent poses and is eager for his young charges to be ready from the first whistle.
"In this tournament and such a strong group you don't have time to ease your way into the tournament," Milicic said.
"If you do, your chances of going further are very difficult.
"Match fitness has been a problem for us but, at the same time, that's why we went to Singapore to acclimatise. We got two games in there.
"We've had some time to work on our playing style and at the same time we can look at it another way, that perhaps the players will be fresher as well.
"We also see that as a positive for us."
Escaping the group would put the Young Socceroos within one knockout win of qualification for next year's FIFA U-20 World Cup in Poland.
Milicic, a striker in his playing days, has promising sharpshooters John Iredale and Ben Folami at his disposal among a handful of overseas-based talents, with the bulk of the 23-man roster drawn from the Hyundai A-League.
"We've put together a squad containing players from the Australian league and a few players based in Europe," he said.
"Obviously we've had the same issues I suspect Korea Republic have had where we couldn't get some players released, and a few injuries.
"We go into this tournament hoping to be competitive."
Goals, pace and quality: Arnold tips front line to fire against Korea Republic
Graham Arnold says Australia can expect to be thrilled by a blend of pace and individual quality in the final third when the Caltex Socceroos host Korea Republic tomorrow evening. Australia play their first match on home soil in over a year when they host Paulo Bento’s side at
Sainsbury: 'The boys love coming back to Australia'
Trent Sainsbury said spirits are high in the Caltex Socceroos camp as they prepare for their first hit-out on home soil in more than a year. The Caltex Socceroos play Korea Republic at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday night before facing Lebanon in Sydney on Tuesday. The two fri
Maclaren, Vukovic among five players to receive Caltex Socceroos caps from special guests
The Caltex Socceroos camp had a few special visitors as Jamie Maclaren and Danny Vukovic were among five players to receive their caps for Australia. Matt McKay, who featured in the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil, and Jade North, capped more than 40 times for the Caltex Socceroos,
'That's why I celebrated with him': Mabil reveals Arnold premonition
Caltex Socceroos attacker Awer Mabil said coach Graham Arnold inspired him to score a debut goal against Kuwait by repeatedly telling him that he would hit the back of the net. Mabil came on as a substitute in Australia’s 4-0 friendly win last month and the 23-year-old did as