Milligan ready for ‘biggest game in 10 years’

Mark Milligan believes a vocal home crowd could be decisive as the Caltex Socceroos go all-out in what the defender describes as the most important qualifier in a decade.

Explainer: Caltex Socceroos' task against Thailand


With Saudi Arabia currently enjoying a two-goal advantage on goal difference to Australia, a big win is paramount to boost the Caltex Socceroos’ hopes of automatic qualification to Russia 2018.

And a boisterous home crowd is vital, according to Milligan.

"There's no more important game that I can recall over the last 10 years since we've been in Asia for qualification," the stand-in skipper said.

"It's important that they get out and know [Thailand is] not going to roll over.

“It's going to be no easy feat for us on Tuesday but we'll come ready and we'll get the result needed."

Group B table


A win over Thailand will put the pressure on Saudi Arabia to get a similar result in their final match against Japan in the early hours of Wednesday morning (AEST).

But regardless of what unfolds over the next few days, Milligan has no doubt the Caltex Socceroos will qualify for a fourth straight FIFA World Cup.

"Going to consecutive World Cups has been very important not just for the national team but for Australian football, the A-League and lower leagues," Milligan said.

"I still truly believe that we will go out Tuesday night and we'll put in a good performance.

“Whether it's Wednesday that it's announced that we're going to a World Cup or whether we have to wait a bit longer, it will happen.

"Obviously that's worst case scenario but there's a long way before we have to hit that panic button."

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