Tim Cahill 'not batting an eyelid' about Socceroos' World Cup struggles
Australia's record goal-scorer Tim Cahill says he's not worried about the Socceroos' precarious position in 2018 AFC World Cup qualifying, and predicts a return to winning way against the United Arab Emirates in Sydney on Tuesday.
The reigning Asian champions are only third in Group B, three points behind Saudi Arabia and Japan, and will fall to fourth if they lose to the talented Emiratis at the Sydney Football Stadium.
Only the top two sides from both groups automatically qualify for Russia 2018.
But 37-year-old Cahill says that Ange Postecoglou's side will draw on inspiration from their 2015 Asian Cup success to see off the U.A.E. to record their first competitive victory since last September.
"Leading into the AFC Asian Cup, everybody was worried and thought we had no chance and we ended up lifting the trophy, and Ange said six months prior that we would do that," said Cahill, according to the AFC.
"I know it was hard for people to believe, but we didn't bat an eyelid then and I don't think I'll be flinching now."
The Aussies are also mindful that they need to find form ahead of June's Confederations Cup, with their opener against world champions Germany in Sochi on June 19. Cameroon and Chile are the other teams in their group.
"Being in camp around Ange and the boys it is all about making sure we stay grounded and see the bigger process of what we are trying to do," he explained.
"The job at hand is to get three points, but also to play a style that's going to stand us in good stead heading into Confederations Cup."
Australia struggled to adapt to new 3-4-3 formation as they were held 1-1 by Iraq in Tehran last Thursday in their fourth consecutive draw after beginning their campaign with consecutive victories.
But they're hoping that three home matches in their four remaining qualifiers will allow them to get their faltering campaign back on track.
"[U.A.E] are a good team, and hit well on the transition but it's up to us to play an attacking game and put them under a lot pressure," Cahill said.
"It's nice to be home, it's definitely an advantage. But playing home or away it doesn't matter. Playing away is just as exciting as playing at home."
Australia defeated the U.A.E. 2-0 in the semifinals of the 2015 Asian Cup before prevailing over South Korea 2-1 after extra-time in the final for their first continental title.
The U.A.E. lost 2-0 to Japan in last Thursday's qualifier in Al Ain but defeated Iraq 2-0 in their previous match on Nov. 15.
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