The Socceroos failed to fully convince some commentators against South Africa on Monday night, but no such criticism could be directed at Tommy Oar, who says he is thriving after being reunited with Ange Postecoglou.
The flying winger spent the 2009-10 season under Postecoglou at Brisbane Roar before being snapped up by FC Utrecht, where his game has gone from strength to strength.
One of the unfortunate players to be cut from Pim Verbeek's provisional World Cup squad four years ago, there is no chance of Oar meeting the same fate ahead of the tournament in Brazil, with the 22-year-old a certain starter on Australia's left flank.
"I've always enjoyed playing under him," Oar said when asked how much he had bought into Postecoglou's game-plan.
"I feel free. I feel like I can try and take the game to the opposition, which is the way I like to play.
"I just tried to inject as much energy as I could and if you make yourself unpredictable with your movement then it can be difficult to mark.
“The role for Mathew Leckie and me was to try and give as many headaches as possible for defenders."
Oar was a constant menace to South Africa's backline in the first 30 minutes of the 1-1 draw at ANZ Stadium, prompting him to acknowledge afterwards it was one of his best displays yet in a green and gold shirt.
"Yeah, probably," he said.
"I probably had the biggest influence on a game that I've had."
Now with 14 appearances under his belt, Oar is one of only 12 players named in Postecoglou's 27-man squad to travel to Brazil with their appearance tally in double figures.
And while Postecoglou blamed fatigue from a heavy training load for the team's second-half fade out, one of the better performers on the night offered a reminder that perhaps too much was expected from such an unfamiliar side.
"It's an extraordinarily young team," he said.
"We don't really have much experience and I think maybe that showed [against South Africa]."
And don't forget to follow the Socceroos on social media
Opponent Watch: ‘He must have 15 lungs’
Paul Pogba has been a key figure in France’s two wins at the2018 FIFA World Cup™ but reserved some special praise for a couple of his midfield partners. Plus another blow for reigning champions Germany ahead of their must-win clash, while there’s some harsh criticism for Argen
Milligan backs France to do their bit for Socceroos
Mark Milligan remains confident the Socceroos can progress to the knockout phase at the FIFA World Cup™, backing France to help Australia’s cause by beating Denmark. The Socceroos head into the final match against Peru (Wednesday morning AEST live on SBS and Optus Sport) with
Mexico coach's special praise for Socceroos
Mexico might have produced the result which has made the biggest impact at the FIFA World Cup™ - beating world champions Germany – but their coach has been impressed by the performances of the Socceroos. Juan Carlos Osorio – who masterminded El Tri’s shock 1-0 win of the Germa
Russia Watch: Tearful Neymar sparks relief for Brazil
Neymar became Brazil’s third-highest scorer of all-time as the South American’s left it late to pick up their first win of the 2018 FIFA World Cup™. Elsewhere, there was late drama in Switzerland’s clash with Serbia while the Super Eagles of Nigeria boosted their hopes of a be