Vidmar: Asian Cup failure would be a disaster

It would be a disaster if the Socceroos failed at the Asian Cup, assistant coach Aurelio Vidmar says.

Most feel a place in the final is the pass mark for Ange Postecoglou's squad, and Vidmar knows Australia must deliver.

The 16-team event kicks off in Melbourne when Australia plays Kuwait in Group A on January 9. Other nations in the group are Oman and Korea Republic.  

Vidmar says it's time the Socceroos converted the development under Postecoglou into success. 

"Ange has done a fantastic job in turning the perception of what the national team is about right around," Vidmar told SEN radio. "But this is just the beginning – we can't stop here.

"Failure at the Asian Cup would be a disaster."

Despite their poor showing in Brazil, Japan will go into the tournament as favourites, with Australia and the South Koreans considered the next strongest teams.

Vidmar added: "It's not easy to win the Asian Cup... there are some very, very good teams there.

"If you have a look at the team at the World Cup – South Korea are a very young group and will now have a new coach.

"Japan will also have a new coach and then there's a team like Iran, they've got a lot of good players and are exciting to watch.

"When you take those teams off the world stage and bring them into an Asian tournament there are a completely different kettle of fish.

"It's not going to be easy."

Australia went to the World Cup as a relative minnow. 

However Vidmar said the form of the world's heavyweights, apart from winner Germany, left the Socceroos with little to fear ahead of the next World Cup in 2018.

"I definitely think that if we had of been in a different group we would have made the round of 16," he said.

"There's no question that we can compete and compete against the best. We have just proven that.

"That's all that stopped us from getting through. Had we had an Algeria, for example, in our group the situation might have been different.

"What we need to do now is get a lot more experience into the guys who were in our squad.

"What came out of our debrief is that we really need to get a lot more depth.... The depth the Netherlands had, the depth Spain had.... you just can't compete with that. 

"It's not just about the first 11, but having another 10 underneath that can slot in at anytime and not make a major difference."


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Where is this depth going to magically appear from? The A-league needs to build upon the success of recent years, but depth won't happen for at least another couple of years, and only if the A-League continues to support a youth orientated, home grown player.