Midfielder Steven Ugarkovic says the Olyroos are not concerned about their form heading into January’s qualifiers despite failing to register a win in their past five matches.
The Australian Under-23s went down 3-1 to Qatar and had a 1-1 draw with Iran recently in the Middle East in a series of friendlies.
In October the Olyroos were beaten 2-1 and 2-0 by South Korea, while in September they were defeated 3-1 by Macedonia but managed to beat Turkey 1-0.
The team has been drawn alongside Jordan, UAE and Vietnam for the AFC Under-23 Championships in January.
The Olyroos must finish among the top three sides in the 16-team tournament to qualify for Rio.
Ugarkovic told FourFourTwo the friendly results haven’t been a huge concern as the camps have been helpful in bringing the squad, who arrive from the A-League and different clubs across Europe, together.
“I don't believe it’s a worry for us as a team too much because we don't spend that much time together as a team, and these last few camps have been a big help to getting to know each other,” the 21-year old said.
“There are always things as a team to improve and we are working on them in camp to the best of our ability and I am sure we will be ready for January.
“The match against Qatar obviously wasn't the result we were looking for but it was a good test before the tournament. The result wasn't a good reflection of the game because we did play well in the first half and goals came from our own mistakes.
“The game against Iran was another good test because also the heat conditions were a challenge for us as a team. We did play better as a team and we created a lot more chances.”
Ugarkovic, who plays his club football in Croatia, featured against Qatar but not against Iran due to a small injury.
“In the first game I played and thought I did well, but it's more about our team performance,” the Sydneysider said.
“I strained my quad during the first game and there was a risk of making it worse so I didn't play the second game. My quad has recovered now and I’m back into full training.”
After featuring in Sydney, Athens and Beijing, the Olyroos missed out on the London Games in 2012. The current crop of Under-23s includes Socceroos Josh Brillante, Adam Taggart and Jackson Irvine.
Ugarkovic said to play in an Olympic Games would be a massive honour.
“To play in the Olympics would be a massive honour and a dream come true but first we have to well in January, then we can start thinking about Rio,” the NK Osijek midfielder said.comments