Robbie Kruse says the Qantas Socceroos don't fear Japan, while Sasa Ognenovski is using the last Asian Cup final as motivation to beat the Blue Samurai.
Defender Sasa Ognenovski says the Qantas Socceroos possess extra motivation for Tuesday night's World Cup qualifier against Japan, as frustration remains from their Asian Cup final defeat.
It is expected that much of the team who failed to secure three points against Oman will take the field as they take on a Blue Samurai side who have thumped Oman 3-0 and Jordan 6-0, but Ognenovski is confident.
"For the ones that played, of course, there's that motivating factor there as well,'' he said.
"We felt as though we should have won that (final) so, hopefully, we can get that result on Tuesday.''
But they have to overcome an unhelpful travel schedule and a confident Japan who boast a star trio in Manchester United-bound Shinji Kagawa, Inter Milan's Yuto Nagamoto and CSKA Moscow striker Keisuke Honda, who bagged a hat-trick against Jordan.
Despite the strong line-up Japan are fielding Qantas Socceroos striker Robbie Kruse says the team won-t be fearing a Japan side who have been rampant in their opening two matches against Oman and Jordan.
“They have some wonderful individual players that we have to be aware of, and it-s going to be vital for us to shut down their attacking players.” Kruse said.
"We feel we've got the firepower to beat Japan and it's been a pretty good battle over the last four or five years.
"We respect them but we don't fear them.”
While the Socceroos might not fear them, Kruse does realise it is important to strike quickly and not let Japan get a roll on, because if they do that is when Manchester United-bound Shinji Kagawa could strike, and Kruse has seen plenty of that throughout his time in Germany.
“I think in any game it-s always important to try and get an early goal, we don-t want Japan to get the first goal because they have a wonderful array of talent there, especially with Shinji Kagawa.”
“I play in Germany so I see a lot of Kagawa and he-s since moved to Manchester United, so obviously he is a wonderful player.”
The match gives Kruse the opportunity to get back in front of his home crowd and for Ognenovski to get back in front of some of the fans who cheered him when he played at the Roar and the defender is looking forward to the opportunity.
“Playing in front of your home crowd is a big difference, they can really lift you and being at a noisy Suncorp will be a big difference,” Ognenovski said.
Aussies Abroad: Vukovic’s Genk beaten in battle of Belgium’s top two
Danny Vukovic’s Genk remain well clear on top of the table despite falling to a rare defeat in Belgium against Club Brugge overnight. In a meeting of the competition’s top two at the Jan Breydel Stadion, Genk were beaten the fired-up home side, going down 3-1. There was lit
Aussies Abroad: Ryan’s Brighton through to Quarter-Finals while Milligan, Giannou pick up strong results
There were a handful of Caltex Socceroos in action on Sunday morning (AEDT) while some key figures were rested as their clubs negotiated cup ties. Firstly to Europe where Mark Milligan played a full 90 at the heart of Hibernian’s midfield as they welcomed new manager Danny Hec
Aussies Abroad: Luongo gallant in Watford defeat
Caltex Socceroos midfielder Massimo Luongo can turn his attention to the EFLChampionship after QPR crashed out of the FA Cup on Saturday morning (AEDT). The 26-year-old played the full 90 minutes in QPR’s 1-0 loss to Watford at Loftus Road, in a tight game where each side cou
When to watch your Caltex Socceroos this weekend
There's FA Cup action on the cards for two Australians this weekend as another prepares for a massive top-of-the-table encounter. Multiple players are involved in matches with major title ramifications, while Mark Milligan has a new manager to impress in Scotland. Read on t