Ante Milic has a message for the fringe Socceroos fretting over their chances of making the World Cup squad: It's out of your hands.
Monday's friendly against South Africa at ANZ Stadium could be viewed by some outside candidates as the opportunity to impress and squeeze into the reduced travelling squad of 27 ahead of a final cut to 23 when the team arrives in Brazil.
But it will take more than a positive cameo against Bafana Bafana to impress Ange Postecoglou and eagle-eyed assistant coaches.
"Players have to be realistic, you know when you've played well," Milicic said on Friday.
"Not only look at the games, but the training, at your attitude, you're doing all the things right on and off the pitch. It's simple. It's simple to give yourself the best chance of getting to the World Cup.
"As a player, just get your preparation right, do your best and if you get selected by Ange, that's out of your hands. You can't control that. Do your best and then if you get in, you get in. You shouldn't go into a game worrying; 'I have to play good to selected to go to Brazil.'
"You do your job and let the people that control those decisions make them."
Several players are in doubt for the South Africa clash as they seek to shake off minor injury problems.
Centre-back Curtis Good has already been ruled out and skipper Mile Jedinak is highly unlikely to feature in a game Milicic flagged as an opportunity to experiment.
"He (Postecoglou) doesn't need to risk anybody who's got any question marks (over their fitness)," the Socceroos assistant coach said.
"It's not a game where we have to risk any players and there's probably players that he wants to see a little bit more than others and he'll make that call."
Milicic also shrugged off concerns the value of the farewell friendly has been undermined by numerous withdrawals from the opposition squad.
"You're giving someone else the chance, you're bringing in younger players who will, I'm sure, want to impress the selectors, (they'll be) young and keen," he said.
"For me, it doesn't matter where you come from. If you get called up for your national team, not one player doesn't give 100 percent. It will be a tough game. The main thing for us to get out of the game what we want in terms of our style we've been working on in the last week."
Send Off the Socceroos
Socceroos vs South Africa, presented by NAB
Monday 26 May 2014 ANZ Stadium, Sydney Kick-off: 7.30pm
Tickets from $30, including public transport. Buy now!
ABC Grandstand will have live coverage of the match from 1900-2135 AEST on ABC Grandstand Digital across Australia, online and via the phone app.
You can also tune in on digital SBS Radio 3 and SBS Radio 4, Digital TV, online at sbs.com.au/radio or via the SBS Your Language App.
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