Australia's battling yet unsuccessful World Cup campaign has inspired the Socceroos to go to the next level with their respective clubs, according to midfielder Oliver Bozanic who spoke exclusively with Goal Australia overnight.
With the national team's opening match of the 2015 AFC Asian Cup just over five months away, Bozanic says Ange Postecoglou's men have received a boost from their experiences in Brazil, which they hope to exploit as they prepare for the regional tournament on home soil.
Since the Socceroos' involvement in Brazil finished over a month ago, the response in Australia has generally been positive, with Postecoglou's side having impressed with their positive and hard-working approach, even if they finished the tournament without a point.
But Bozanic insists that, although he and his team-mates were happy with how competitive they were at the World Cup, they know they need to do more to challenge for the Asian Cup in Australia and ensure they qualify for Russia 2018.
"It shows that we can play against the world's best and we can do well," the 25-year-old told Goal Australia.
"But it's just about now really taking it to the next level and being consistent, and doing that over 90 minutes and really getting the result that we want to get."
Speaking from Switzerland on Friday, Bozanic, who plays for FC Luzern, underlined the importance of every player with designs on representing Australia making sure they improve through the rest of 2014.
"The World Cup gives you a boost and the confidence to work even harder and really improve in all the preparation games and be available for selection," he said.
Following Australia's elimination from the World Cup, Bozanic had 11 days off before returning to Luzern for his second season with the Swiss Super League club.
The versatile midfielder has already made two appearances - both in the qualifying rounds of the UEFA Europa League - but unfortunately could not stop Luzern from being eliminated by St Johnstone last week, as he hurt his back in the second leg in Scotland.
The former Central Coast player, who won the 2013 A-League Championship with the Mariners, is expected to be sidelined until August 21.
Despite the disappointing start to the 2014-15 campaign, which sees Luzern sitting third from bottom in the table ahead of Sunday's third-round clash with St Gallen, Bozanic maintains the club can improve on last season where they finished fourth.
Bozanic played 31 games in all competitions last term, scoring six goals.
"We qualified for the [UEFA] Europa [League] last season so, as a club, we have to equal that or finish higher up on the table and also go one further in the Cup," he said.
"We were in the semis in the Cup, so we'd really like to go all the way to the final this year as well."
Bozanic played 111 minutes at the World Cup, coming off the bench against the Netherlands to earn the penalty that gave Australia a 2-1 lead, while he also started the final game versus Spain.
Just a couple of minutes after replacing Mark Bresciano in Porto Alegre, Bozanic burst into the box and attempted a centring pass, which hit Daryl Janmaat on the hand.
Bozanic describes Mile Jedinak's successful subsequent spot-kick as his 'most memorable moment' in Brazil, while he revealed he had been warned he was likely to get on the field before the match, after missing out in Australia's opening game against Chile.
"Actually, just before the game, I got called into the starting [XI's] passing drill and the coaches were saying 'just be ready, just in case anything happens' and then basically at half-time I got a bit more of a nod saying 'if Bresh isn't too good, then be ready to come on'," he explained.
The hard-working midfielder undeniably seized his chance, and is now in pole position to become a familiar face as Postecoglou's green and gold overhaul moves into its next phase.
Aussies Abroad: Luongo and Wednesday go top of the Championship as Irvine captains Hull
Massimo Luongo has entered Hillsborough, and the Owls are flying high in the EFL Championship. Luongo was deployed as a late substitute by manager Lee Bulleen as a 54th minute goal from Kadeem Harris handed Sheffield Wednesday a 1-0 win over Luton Town this morning. MORE: B
Australia’s young football talents to be recognised with new awards
Football Federation Australia (FFA) and Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) today announced the introduction of two new awards to recognise players representing Australia's junior national teams. FFA Chairman Chris Nikou said the awards would celebrate the overall conduct
FFA congratulates Young Socceroos on AFF U-18 Championship success
Football Federation Australia Chief Executive David Gallop AM has paid tribute to the Young Socceroos, who beat Malaysia 1-0 overnight in the final of the 2019 AFF U-18 Championship in Vietnam. Gallop said the whole squad and coaching staff should be delighted with their achie