As the Socceroos prepare to arrive in camp ahead of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ play-offs, Mat Ryan has reflected on the qualification campaign so far and looked forward to what lies ahead.
The nation's path to the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ will be decided in June with two of the most important matches in recent Socceroos history.
After 20 games of qualification, Australia face the UAE on June 8 (AEST), with a clash against South American giants Peru on the line. Both fixtures will be one-off sudden death matches played on neutral territory in Qatar.
In preparation for their crucial clash against the UAE, the squad will take on Jordan in a friendly just under a week before they face off against the Gulf nation.
As our Socceroos prepare to fly into Qatar for this crucial camp, Ryan sat down with Simon Hill, Mark Schwarzer and Ron Corry on the Generations of Socceroos podcast to reflect on the qualification journey so far.
“Our objective is to make the public proud and the nation proud and in a perfect world, we would have done that by qualifying for the World Cup already, but that hasn't been the case,” Ryan said.
In life and in football, whatever gets thrown your way, you just have to be resilient and keep rolling up the sleeves and getting on with it.
“The most important things are learning the lessons from the moments where things haven't gone our way and figuring out what can we do to improve and be better.
“We are where we are right now so we've got these, you know, this game against UAE coming up in June.”
Two defeats in their last two qualification matches against Japan and Saudi Arabia condemned the Socceroos to a third placed finish in Group B.
While previous Socceroos camps were hampered by disruptions, Ryan is hoping preparations go smoother this time around.
“With the challenges that covid has thrown us, Arnie hasn't even been around the playing group in the previous two camps because he's been isolating with covid twice,” Ryan explained.
“That has provided another challenge within itself but I'm really looking forward to getting together here.
“We have got a good week together when we all get into Qatar and there's going to be some boys that have been doing a week's camp in Dubai beforehand as well.
“Fingers crossed there will be no hiccups with covid or anything like that, and we can actually get some time together on the pitch and work together as a group for hopefully seven to ten days.
We've also got the friendly game against Jordan as well to help prepare so common sense tells you that the more time you can get together, gell and link up as a team unit, the better off you'll be.
“We are going to look forward to taking advantage of that time in the lead up so we can get the result there and have another good week to together before taking on Peru to get ourselves to the World Cup.”