Kennedy not looking beyond Oman clash
While the eyes of Asia are fixed on Australia's looming World Cup qualifying heavyweight clash with Japan in Brisbane, Josh Kennedy is more worried about the Socceroos' first-up challenge in Oman.
The final phase of Australia's World Cup qualifying journey starts with travel to Muscat - and the peak of the Arabian summer - on June 8.
While lanky striker Kennedy, a standout with Japanese club Nagoya Grampus since 2009, is looking forward to taking on his J-League counterparts on Australian soil on June 12, the challenge of the Omanis is foremost in his mind.
Oman, buoyed by its first phase 1-0 triumph over Australia in November, will host the Socceroos in conditions that could reach 40 degrees.
Kennedy warns the match will be a big challenge for several reasons.
''I think we've seen that we can't underestimate anyone,'' Kennedy said.
''They [Oman] will think they can do the same thing [beat Australia] obviously, they did it last time.
''It's going to be tough conditions as well with the weather, and a lot of the boys now, from Europe, are in an off-season.''
One of the more prolific marksmen chosen by coach Holger Osieck, Kennedy will share goal-scoring responsibilities with experienced trio Tim Cahill, Brett Holman and Harry Kewell, along with emerging stars Robbie Kruse and Nikita Rukavytsya.
''I guess it gets down to the serious end of it all, every game counts and you can't slip up,'' Kennedy said.
''I definitely want to be a part of things and … help the team win games, score goals and get us through to Brazil. AAP