Tommy Oar can still remember the jibes coming from every angle. Whether it was his Dutch team-mates at FC Utrecht or just the fan in the street, the Socceroos winger was public enemy no.1.
It started just after the Netherlands were drawn in the same World Cup group as the Socceroos, continuing almost right up until he headed home for the training camp on the NSW Central Coast.
While the 'Oranje' are going through a regeneration phase of their own, the feeling in the Netherlands is Louis Van Gaal's side should have little trouble in beating Australia in Brazil.
"I know a lot of the players having played against them every week.
“There was obviously a bit of banter after the draw and right up until now," Oar told www.socceroos.com.au .
"They also think it's a very tough group for them but the general consensus in the Netherlands is Australia should be the team they beat.
"They are a pretty powerful football nation so they expect to be winning and winning regularly.
"Hopefully against us it can lead to some complacency and I'm sure the boys will use that anyway we can. We know we've been written off a fair bit.
"It doesn't bother me if they think that way...we'll definitely surprise a lot of people with the way we play."
Oar has got used to many people putting a line through the Socceroos' hopes ever since they were drawn against the Netherlands, Spain and Chile.
But rather than try and block out the negativity, the former Brisbane Roar flyer has taken note and believes the side can use it to their advantage.
"The underdog tag suits us perfectly," Oar said.
"We can go into the games and really express ourselves and be really free and just take it to the opposition.
"That's the way Ange [coach Ange Postecoglou] likes to play anyway and that's how we should approach it.
"It can be an advantage sometimes to have that freedom in your game where you can just go out on the park and go for it."
In essence, Oar sums up the fresh culture change associated with Postecoglou's new Socceroos era.
He's young, brash and has a touch of flair, just the way the new boss likes his team's to be.
For Oar, who grew up kicking the ball with his brothers around the streets on the Gold Coast, he is relishing the chance of playing at a World Cup.
"Every young kid dreams of playing in a World Cup and I was no different. Now it's becoming a reality it's really exciting for me and its only added motivation for me," he said.
"Both my older brothers and my whole family is really into football.
"I remember kicking the ball around the street with my brothers pretending to play in a World Cup so now to get the chance to play at the World Cup it's a dream come true."
And the 22-year-old certainly heads into the tournament with good form under his belt, having played 31 games for Utrecht in the Eredivisie.
But if there's one area Oar is hoping to improve his game it's in front of goal, with just one to his name – the stunner against Japan in qualifying – from 13 Socceroos caps.
"Everyone wants to score goals and I'm certainly no different," he said.
"Playing in those attacking positions it's important to contribute.
"For me, my focus is not only on scoring goals but creating them for other people and just doing my job for the team.
“If that happens to be scoring goals then I won't be complaining."
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