Australia star midfielder Tim Cahill has issued a warning to his team-mates ahead of the looming Round 4 qualifiers for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™.
The Socceroos will begin their tilt for a third successive appearance on the world stage on 8 June in Oman, before a home appointment with key Asian rivals Japan four days later. Iraq and Jordan also make up Group B, with the top two to secure qualification for Brazil 2014.
Despite Australia reaching the last two FIFA World Cups and currently being ranked Asia's number one in the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking, Cahill believes the Socceroos face an enormous challenge.
"I don't like to get carried away because the Asian group's one of the hardest," Cahill told SBS TV. “This is going to be one the biggest tests of the national team. People really need to understand that, yes we have a great squad, defensively we could be a lot better. Attackingly, getting [Marco] Bresciano back is going to be fantastic.”
Australia have been undergoing a regeneration since South Africa 2010 under German coach Holger Osieck and Cahill is now one of the senior statesmen with two FIFA World Cups on his resume.
Sydney-born Cahill is Australia’s leading goalscorer amongst current players, having returned a remarkable 24 goals in 55 internationals despite mostly playing in midfield.
Although the Socceroos turned in some impressive performances during the previous stage of qualifying, Cahill takes an understated view of the team’s current status.
"We're an okay team, we're not unbelievable ... we need to make sure we know that,” Cahill said.
“I don’t like to get carried away. There is going to some tough games, but let’s see what happens over the coming games. Hopefully we can ride a wave and do something special.”