New assistant coach Mark van Bommel has taken the focus off individual players ahead of Australia’s clash with Norway in Oslo tomorrow morning (AEST).
The decorated former Dutch international will be alongside Bert van Marwijk as the Caltex Socceroos continue their World Cup build-up.
“If you have a good team, the individual players will be better,” said van Bommel.
“So we're going to work on the team.
“If you only pick the eleven best players, you're not a good team I think.”
At 38, talisman Tim Cahill is targeting a fourth World Cup appearance in June.
And van Bommel, who never played against Cahill, says his age won’t be a factor.
“Your age doesn't matter, I'm 40, but unfortunately I don't play anymore!
“If you're 18 and you're good, you're going to play and if you're 38 and you're good, you're going to play as well.”
Australia are in a tough World Cup group in Russia with France, Peru and Denmark their group opponents.
But van Bommel is optimistic about their chances of progressing to the knock-out rounds.
“Otherwise we can stay home,” he laughed.
“We're going to try. We're going to develop [the team] as soon as possible.
“Maybe [against Norway] not everything goes well but we'll try to explain to [the team] as quickly as possible how we want to play.”
And even with Australia’s opening game at the World Cup now just 85 days away, there’s still a chance for players to stake their claim for a seat on the plane to Russia.
“We're here with 26 and we can go [to Russia] with 23,” van Bommel said.
“But we don't close the door to anyone.”
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