MUCH has changed since Mitch Langerak and Ange Postecoglou were first united with Australia’s Under-20 side seven years ago - and Langerak expects more change in Postecoglou’s early days as Australia coach.
The Borussia Dortmund goalkeeper has high hopes it will lead to “new successes” for the struggling Socceroos, whose successive 6-0 losses – to Brazil and then France – resulted in the dismissal of Holger Osieck.
Langerak was reluctant to comment on what went wrong under the German, saying only that the Socceroos post was “a difficult job”.
But he was happy to throw his support behind the hiring of Postecoglou.
“I can only speak for myself, but I'm definitely happy with the decision. I think it's fantastic,” the 25-year-old told FourFourTwo Australia.
“I've obviously worked with Ange with the Under-20s. It was always really good to work under him then. I still keep in touch with the [Victory] lads and they've always got good things to say.
“It's exciting times for the Socceroos. Hopefully we can turn things around and put in a few good performances leading into the World Cup. I think Ange is a good appointment.”
The gradual erosion of results over the latter stages of Osieck’s time at the helm had the critics calling for change, and Langerak believes they will get their wish under Postecoglou.
“It's exciting that we've got an Australian coach and I'm sure Ange will bring in a whole new set of ideas and culture into the squad,” said Langerak, whose rivals for the No.1 shirt include long-time incumbent Mark Schwarzer, Adam Federici and Mat Ryan.
“Ange has got his own ideas and his own players who he thinks he can work with and who he thinks he can develop. It will be interesting to see which direction he takes.
"We're all excited, we're all looking forward to it. It's a clean slate for everybody. I'm sure everybody will be given an equal chance under Ange to show what he can do.”
Former Melbourne Victory shot-stopper Langerak began in goal in Australia’s torrid night in Paris against France on November 12, belatedly making his national team debut after first being called up for the Socceroos in 2011.
His form over his five appearances for Dortmund in all competitions this season deserved better than the onslaught he faced against Les Bleus, and Langerak admitted it was a mixed night.
“We didn’t play well. Nothing came off for us on the night, and as a result of that you come away with a 6-0 loss. It was a combination of things. 6-0 is certainly not flattering at all,” he said.
“We turned it around against Canada [in a 3-0 win], I think. It was a difficult situation losing the coach and having to back it up four days later against Canada in London, so it wasn’t easy.
“From my perspective, it was obviously a sour night but a good night for me as well. It was a proud moment to make my debut, despite the result. Putting that aside, I was happy with my performance.
“… You'll have these days in your career where sometimes there's not a lot you can do … You look at the clock and 50 minutes and we're 6-0 down and you think, 'What the hell is going on here?'.”
Langerak did have some praise for Osieck and his time with the German.
“I really enjoyed my time under Holger. I definitely had a good relationship with the boss. He was always really good to me,” he said.
“… Every time we came into camp, he'd always pull me aside and have a chat with me and help me along.
“I've only got good words for him, but now we've got a new coach so it could be the start of a new phase … and hopefully a bit of new success.”