Asian football may have been issued a warning from the Socceroos following their 5-1 demolition of Jordan, but there was an even greater message served to the Australian public from their coach.
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Socceroos secure passage to the final stage of World Cup qualifying with an emphatic 5-1 win over Jordan.
Wake up and take notice of us was the swipe issued by Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou towards the Australian sporting public, telling them to respect the strength of his side after their Asian Cup triumph and stellar performances in the first round of qualification. The Socceroos are on course for a fourth consecutive World Cup appearance after topping their group, claiming seven wins and scoring 29 goals in eight games.
Of that tally, impressively 12 goals were scored in their final two home games, making Australia one of the continent's form teams heading into the next round of qualifiers. However, Postecoglou believes there's still not enough respect and belief in his players, who are emerging as arguably the most attacking and entertaining Socceroos team in recent history.
In an unprompted rant, Postecoglou questioned why the team's image at home was not reflected by those outside of Australia - particularly in Asia - who are standing up and taking notice of the team.
"We talk ourselves down so I doubt other people will be pumping us up. As I said all along, we're growing as a team and 12 months ago everyone was saying who's going to score apart from Timmy [Cahill], well Timmy's still scoring yet we're getting multiple goal scorers from all over the place," Postecoglou said.
The often murky FIFA rankings system have not been kind to Australia recently, who appear certain to be seeded lower than expected and on course to receive a slightly more difficult qualifying group in the next round. However, that means little to Postecoglou, who hit out at those suggesting his team would struggle to qualify as a result of a difficult group.
"People are really worried about rankings and seedings and who we're going to get. I mean, I don't get it, just watch what the team's doing, that should tell you enough," he said.
"We're not going to be worried about who we get in our group. We've had some tough groups in every competition that we've been in. We had a tough group in the World Cup. We had Korea in our group in the Asian Cup. We've had Jordan - who, don't forget, finished fifth in the last World Cup campaign in the play-off spot - in our group again and we've overcome all those things."
In his post-match press conference, Jordan coach Harry Redknapp agreed with Postecoglou in his own way, suggesting his players had no response to Australia's superior fitness, organisation and ability.
"It was as difficult as I expected it to be. There was a good gulf in class in all honesty tonight and it showed. They looked much fitter," Redknapp said. "When you talk about the standard, that's how football is.
"You play against Bangladesh and you look fantastic because of the opposition and then you go and play against a better team and Australia looked great tonight."