One of the leading candidates to captain the Caltex Socceroos at the Confederations Cup has put any thoughts of the armband to one side.
With regular skipper Mile Jedinak ruled out with a groin injury, fellow midfielder Mark Milligan is a strong contender to lead Australia in Tuesday morning’s Confederations Cup opener against Germany.
Nothing has been discussed,” Milligan told reporters in Sochi.
“Obviously from our point of view [Mile] is a loss but the way this squad has been prepared over the last couple of years is for reasons like this.
“Whoever steps in knows what’s expected and will be ready to go.
“It’s a great privilege for whoever gets that but that’s not what’s on my mind.
“I just want to prepare well so if called upon to play I’m able to help us get off to a good start.”
The Germans have sent a young side to Russia for the Confederations Cup, but Milligan has no doubt they’ll still be a formidable opponent.
“Germany have a lot of very good structures in place,” he said.
“They’re very set in their ways in the way they go about a match so the personalities are a little bit secondary to the way they want to do things.
“We have no doubt they’ll be very strong but we’re very excited about playing them.
“They’re a very good nation and even though they’ve had a few changes to their personnel, we expect the same sort of discipline and game plan from them.”
As far as the wider goals of the squad are concerned, Milligan wants to see a continuation of the progress the side has made in the last two and half years.
“It’s another chance for us to take a leap forward in showing everyone the way we play football and go about our game,” he said.
“We want to go as deep into this tournament as possible.
“Around the group there’s a lot of confidence and belief in what we do.
“We want to start showing and proving everybody should jump on because the next year, starting now, will be very exciting,” he added.
Young Socceroos set for kick off in 2018 SBS Cup
A selection of Australia’s finest U18 footballers commence their 2018 SBS Cup campaign in Japan tomorrow evening. Ante Milicic’s side take on the host nation at Fujieda Stadium at 7.30pm kick off (AEST). AUSSIES ABROAD: Maclaren, Vukovic impress in Europe READ: Why Rene
Instant MLS impression a promising sign for Brad Smith
Brad Smith played just over four hours of football for Bournemouth last season. But it took 73 minutes for the Caltex Socceroos fullback to claim accord with new club Seattle Sounders after an impressive Major League Soccer debut yesterday. AUSSIES ABROAD: Maclaren, Vukovic
'It feels like I've never been away': Jamie Maclaren's relief after summer in the dark
From an initial FIFA World Cup™ omission to constant uncertainty over his future, it’s been a difficult summer for Jamie Maclaren. However, after making his first start of the season for Hibernian yesterday, the Caltex Socceroos striker feels right back at home in Scottish Pre