Socceroos’ silk and steel approach

Aussie striker Mathew Leckie says the Socceroos will still pride themselves on their toughness as they seek to play a more cultured style of football under Ange Postecoglou.

Australia's national team has sometimes been characterised by their physicality at least as much as their technique, although that famous competitive edge had well and truly worn off by the time an ageing side stumbled to the end of Holger Osieck's tenure.

The focus of their pre-World Cup training camp in Gosford and now Sydney has been to drill the players into a high-intensity, pressing game with quick ball use and one-touch passing.

It remains to be seen if that will be enough to survive matches against Chile, the Netherlands and Spain in Brazil next month.

But win, lose or draw, the likes of the Andres Iniesta, Arjen Robben and Alexis Sanchez can certainly expect to receive a few bruises at the hands of Group B's underdogs.

"Everyone's human," Leckie said when asked if Australia can still intimidate their opponents.

"There are a few young guys here but we've still got experienced guys. Us Aussies are tough guys, we got out there, give it our all. We're always there to give a bump or two.

"But also we're there to play football as well. At times it can be a bit of an advantage for us that they don't know many of us. So maybe we can go over them and surprise a few (teams)."

While reigning champions Spain and 2010 finalists the Netherlands are instantly recognisable for football fans in Australia, Leckie knows Chile represent just as much of a threat to the Socceroos' ambitions.

"Spain's definitely going to be tough, it's a world-class team," he said when asked which game would be the most difficult.

"But we're not saying that Netherlands and Chile are not at their level. I think they're all world-class teams and we know that each game is going to be tough. We're going to go out there with a game plan for each and every game."

Send Off the Socceroos

Socceroos vs South Africa, presented by NAB

Monday 26 May 2014
ANZ Stadium, Sydney 
Kick-off: 7.30pm
Tickets from $30, including public transport. Buy now!

ABC Grandstand will have live coverage of the match from 1900-2135 AEST on ABC Grandstand Digital across Australia, online and via the phone app.

You can also tune in on digital SBS Radio 3 and SBS Radio 4, Digital TV, online at  or via the SBS Your Language App.