Football 2 years ago

Cahill should be good to go for Socceroos

  • Cahill should be good to go for Socceroos

    SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 01: Tim Cahill of the Socceroos watches on during an Australian Socceroos training session at Leichhardt Oval on June 1, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Jason McCawley/Getty Images)

An irked Ange Postecoglou reckons a perception problem is stopping his equally meritorious Socceroos stars from attracting the same hype as overseas talent such as 18-year-old Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford.

Postecoglou labelled Tom Rogic and Aaron Mooy as best midfielders on the park in Australia's 2-1 loss to England on Saturday, judging their performances as stronger than an English Premier League-laden opposition featuring Arsenal's Jack Wilshere, Liverpool's Jordan Henderson and Leicester City's Danny Drinkwater.

And as young sharpshooter Rashford closes in on a Euro 2016 spot, the Socceroos boss lamented that Rogic, Mooy and their teammates remain shackled by a cultural issue preserving the incorrect impression that Australian players are somehow less capable.

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"It's essential (to get more Australians playing in the world's top leagues), but it won't happen until we get rid of this perception of ourselves," Postecoglou said.

"The English are pumping up Marcus Rashford on the basis of a deflected cross and a decent volley (to score against the Socceroos), after which he didn't do much.

"He plays at Manchester United and he's got a big, fat contract, and I'm sure he gets elevated to a different level because of that.

"For some reason we seem to think that Tom Rogic or Aaron Mooy are less worthy of that sort of merit.

"If there's any independent observer out there who can tell me there were any better midfielders (in the England friendly) - and that's on the back of Aaron not playing for several weeks.

"We need to have more belief in ourselves and hopefully the perception outside will change ... the most important thing is we continue to get games against opponents like this and play our football to change perceptions externally."

A-League star Mooy is on the verge of a move from Melbourne City to Europe, while big clubs are reportedly circling for Celtic playmaker Rogic.

Both the England friendly and upcoming home Greece matches are prime opportunities for exposure.

But Postecoglou has no time for that.

"I'm not a fan about people talking about using these games being a shop window," he said.

"We're playing for our national team, if that isn't enough then we've missed the essence of what we're doing.

"The players have understood that.

"What happens with their own individual careers and performances is a separate entity to what we're trying to do here, which is continually grow the team.

"Come September we're starting the World Cup campaign, and these games are just preparation for that - there's no accessories to that or any overflow.

"Yeah they're high-profile, but does that make them any more difficult? I don't think so.

"Just because people play in a certain league and have a higher profile doesn't mean that they're at any different level to what we've got."

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