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.
'I hope they go through': France praise for Socceroos
Defeat to France was seen as inevitable by many but in the end, it was a tough slog and Australia nearly took something away from their opening fixture in Group C. After a number of Les Bleus admitted they didn’t know many of Australia’s players, the unknown Socceroos give Fra
Talay departs role as Young Socceroos head coach
Football Federation Australia (FFA) today announced the departure of Young Socceroos coach Ufuk Talay who is looking to pursue another coaching opportunity. Talay was assistant coach at the AIS Centre of Excellence and for the Joeys before taking over from Paul Okon as head co
What's next for the Socceroos?
After a courageous 2-1 defeat to France in the opening Group C fixture of the FIFA World Cup™, the Socceroos need a win in their next match against Denmark in order to have a realistic shot at the Round of 16. Thursday night’s (AEST) clash - live on SBS and Optus Sport at 10p
The Equation: What the Denmark-Peru result means for Socceroos
After Australia’s heartbreaking late loss to France at the FIFA World Cup™ on Saturday night, all eyes turned to the other Group C clash between Denmark and Peru. And it was the Danes who emerged narrow 1-0 winners to sit alongside Les Bleus at the top of the group. REPORT: