Socceroos `not getting carried away` - Postecoglou

AFP| Last Updated: Jan 16, 2015, 14:46 PM IST
Socceroos `not getting carried away` - Postecoglou

Australia coach Ange Postecoglou said Friday the Socceroos were not getting carried away after two thumping Asian Cup wins, as they prepare to face South Korea in their group decider.

The host nation has captured the public imagination with a 4-1 thrashing of Kuwait and a 4-0 demolition of Oman in their opening two games of the tournament.

The match against the also undefeated South Koreans, likely in front of a sell-out crowd of over 50,000 at Brisbane Stadium, will decide who tops Group A.

Speaking to reporters ahead of the clash, Postecoglou stressed that the Socceroos` poor form leading into the tournament meant his players were keeping their feet firmly on the ground.

"They`ve risen from a very low base," he said. "They couldn`t have gone much lower than what we came into the tournament, so I don`t think the players are getting carried away.

"Certainly, internally the expectations have never really changed. We`ve had six months to prepare for this tournament, and you don`t prepare for a tournament unless you think you`ve got a chance," explained Postecoglou.

Australia didn`t win a match at the 2014 World Cup and won only one of their friendlies leading into the Asian Cup, a 3-2 win over Saudi Arabia in London.

Since the World Cup they have lost to Belgium (2-0), Qatar (1-0) and Japan (2-1), as well as drawing 0-0 with the UAE.

But eight goals in two matches meant Australia qualified for the last eight with a game to spare, sparking jubilant celebrations around the country.

And Postecoglou said his squad were relishing the hype.

"If anything the expectations, the excitement around the team, is helping us," he explained.

"Particularly this group of players, because a lot of them are just beginning their journey as international footballers and they are getting an idea of what an impact their performances can have on our country when the national team does well.

"From that perspective, I think it`s more a benefit than a hindrance to us," he added.

Whoever tops Group A will likely avoid defending champions Japan until the final, but Postecoglou said the Socceroos would not change their attacking mind-set, despite only needing a draw to finish above South Korea.

"Everyone is aware of what our approach has been and what it will continue to be," he said.

"There is a game of football to be played and every time that happens we want to win it - that won`t change tomorrow night.

"We improved from the first game to the second and we want that again in the third game.

"If we do that we will be hard to beat -- and we will be a good chance to win the game."