Socceroos boss Ange Postecoglou has issued a rallying call for South Australian fans to get out and support the national team on Thursday night against Tajikistan.
The South Australian government made it clear early in the week they wanted to see the Socceroos return as soon as possible and Postecoglou believes a strong turnout tomorrow night will help their cause.
“The test will be tomorrow night,” Postecoglou said.
“If there’s a good turnout and we get a good vibe, let’s bring more games here.
“At the end of the day what we want to do is make our home games as intimidating and hostile for the opposition as it is for us when we play away from home.
“And the crowd play a big part in that, it’s not just the venue or the city, it’s the people.
“We had a good vibe at training yesterday, but if the South Australian people show the passion that we know football fans in Australia can show and it helps us then bring it on, I’m happy to play more games here.
“I want our national team playing in front of sell-out crowds every time we’re here.”
Postecoglou reiterated the message emanating from the camp all week that Tajikistan won’t be taken lightly, but insisted he was simply focused on how his team performs.
“I think from our perspective what’s more important than what the opposition offers is what we offer, that’ll be the key to tomorrow night,” he said.
“We’re well aware the kind of team they are, we’ve done a hell of a lot of research on them so the players are well aware of what to expect tomorrow night, but the message is always it’s about how we deliver more than what the opposition bring.”
With first time call ups for Jason Geria, Alex Gersbach and Apostolos Giannou, as well as inexperienced duo Brad Smith and Chris Ikonomidis, there is a great chance for the next generation to show they belong in the gold shirt.
“I’m pleased that there is some youngsters putting their hands up first of all, and our job is to make sure that door is open to give them an opportunity,” he said.
“I guess how rosy the future is will be up to them and how they take their opportunity. First they’ll get an opportunity to train and cope with that and they’ll get some game time and it’s up to them.
“At the moment all that exists is an opportunity, it’s up to these young guys now to come in and literally make the position their own and they’ve got to be that ambitious.
“There’s no point in them coming in and just wanting to be a part of it, they’ve got to come in and say I’ want to start and I want to be the best in this position that my country has seen.’ If they have that sort of attitude then I think the future will be healthy.”
Postecoglou had a message for his entire squad too, saying no one in guaranteed a place in the future beyond these two matches.
“I’ve consistently said to them you actually don’t sign a contract with your country for ten years to play,” he said. “Every time you’re selected you’re selected for those games, that’s it. There’s no guarantees beyond that.
“I don’t think anyone should go around thinking they have a right to an Australian shirt for any length of time beyond what they’re selected for.”