Milligan excited by new faces in Caltex Socceroos

Caltex Socceroos midfielder Mark Milligan says the selection of Apostolos Giannou and other new names signals the national team's intention to take their performances to a new level.

Milligan, who plays for mid-table UAE club Baniyas, said he was looking forward to meeting up with the fresh faces in the squad in Adelaide this Sunday ahead of their Tajikistan qualifier on March 24. 

And with Ange Postecoglou vocal in his desire to see the Socceroos' development super-charged, Milligan said the new faces will help take the squad to a new level.

Caltex Socceroos' fresh faces for qualifiers in March

"I've heard quite a bit [about Giannou]. I haven't played with him or against him but to see the amount of goals he's scored in Greece," Milligan told on Wednesday. 

"He was scoring right up till he moved to China recently. And obviously the way we play we like to play an attacking brand of football and we always need strikers and new strikers and options in that position."

Apostolos Giannou celebrates after scoring in the UEFA Europa League for Asteras Tripolis.

Joining Giannou is Robbie Kruse who makes a welcome return to the attacking ranks of the green and gold as well as a raft of fresh faces and returned the fold Socceroos. 

"He [Giannou] gets his chance this time and it'll be interesting to see how it works out... we're continually trying to build. 

"We always want to be better and better at understanding what Ange wants and implementing that in games. 

That's the thing with this team. Everyone who comes in knows that and is willing to do that. Obviously down the track we don't want to be just winning Asian Cups we want to be competing on the international level. 

"And to do that we need to get better." 

The Caltex Socceroos surrendered top spot in their World Cup qualifying group following October’s 2-0 loss in Amman, a position they subsequently regained following wins over Kyrgyzstan and Bangladesh.

Socceroos players celebrate Mile Jedinak's opener against Kyrgyzstan in Canberra.

Only the top side in each group is guaranteed to progress to the next stage of the AFC’s road to Russia with the match against Jordan at Allianz Stadium looming as decisive.

Before that, the Socceroos will meet Tajikistan at the Adelaide Oval on 24 March. 

“Obviously it was a tough one to take over there [losing in Jordan] but as Ange mentioned the first game in Adelaide [against Tajikistan] is extremely important,” Milligan  told reporters. 

“If we don’t go there and put in a good performance and a good job then that second game looks a lot different to us.

Mark Milligan on the ball against Kyrgyzstan.

“I remember a few years ago it was a similar situation we were in. They [Jordan] gave us a little bit of a touch up at their home and then they came here and we played some very good football against them in Melbourne," the 30-year-old said.