Socceroos will be switched on says Schwarzer

Socceroos goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer is confident that the team will be fully switched on come Wednesday night and they want to make sure they qualify as early as possible.

Socceroos goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer is confident that the team will be fully switched on come Wednesday night and they want to make sure they qualify as early as possible.

With four games left and results going the way they wanted on Saturday, a win against Uzbekistan and a draw in the Bahrain and Qatar match a few hours later will mean Australia is the first team to qualify for the 2010 World Cup finals.

Some question whether the team will have the right mental attitude for Wednesday-s night-s game given that it-s not a do or die situation, but Schwarzer is sure the team will be right.

“We-re all 100% focused and determined to get the job done as soon as possible,” Schwarzer said from the team-s hotel. “Obviously there is a lot been said that we are going to be attacking, but we just want to go out there and perform at our best.

“Obviously the last couple of games have been all away games and we haven-t been able to go out there and perform to our best for various reasons. But hopefully on Wednesday we can put things right in terms of performances and also continue to get the results we-ve managed to accomplished so far.

“The results went the way we wanted them to go and I didn-t really expect anything different. We said from day one that Uzbekistan are a dangerous side and definitely up until Saturday, had underperformed and were really not in the position they really should have been in.

“It just ratifies how important the game is on Wednesday and how we can-t take anything for granted.”

Schwarzer maintains that while they are looking at a much better performance than in the previous couple of matches, fans should not expect Australia to go all attacking like some would like.

“Every game at home we want to try and dictate the game; dominate the game and people expect that as well. But we-re also not going to just go out there and attack and expose ourselves.

“We are in a great position at the moment and we need to make sure we capitalise on the position we are in and not get too frustrated if things don-t go our way immediately.

“As long as we win the game; if win the game in the 93rd minute, like we did in Bahrain, people might write plenty of bad things about but in two months time nobody is really going to care.”

The Socceroos have the advantage this time around of a full week-s preparation whereas Uzbekistan has to rush to Australia and may struggle in the last hour as travel fatigue sets in. “It-s not ideal (for Uzbekistan). If you have a chance to put down a schedule and an ideal preparation you wouldn-t want to playing on Saturday and travelling 15 hours to come to Australia to play another game on a Wednesday night.

“But we-ve shown before that we can do it and I-m sure they have done it before as well and are not new to it and I-m sure they will be ready for the game.

“I think they are definitely not going to sit back and defend; I think they will try and win the game without a doubt. They have put themselves back in with a great chance to still qualify for the World Cup, whether that-s finishing second in the group or finishing third. I think from their point of view with having three games they will be looking; thinking if we can snatch something in Australia we are in a fantastic position.

“From our point of view we need to make sure we are not going to let that happen.

Schwarzer certainly hopes that he has an easier game than in the past few games, where if not for his brilliance in goal, Australia wouldn-t be in the strong position it is.

“I would rather have gone through unnoticed (in previous games), as that would mean we-ve hardly had a shot on goal. But inevitably that-s going to happen and throughout the campaign there is going to be games where you are going to be called upon more so than others.

“We-ve played three games away from home and we haven-t lost a game yet, so that speaks volumes for this team and whether I have had to work more in those games or not is irrelevant. What it means is that everyone has worked well together; done their job and we-ve not conceded goals.”

The match is a landmark for Schwarzer who is in line to break three records on Wednesday night. Not only will he be Australia-s longest serving international, his Socceroos spanning 15 years and 244 days; he will jump to 5th on the all-time number of A-international appearances and if he can keep Uzbekistan scoreless for at least 71 minutes, it will break an Australian record for the longest amount of minutes without conceding a goal in World Cup qualifiers.

Asked if Sydney was his lucky town, he left no doubt as to where his heart lies.

“It-s the city where I was born, grew up and love and I have been fortunate to play some big games here throughout my career.

“This is another campaign; another day; another game and anything can happen and I hope from point of view that Sydney can continue to be a lucky city for me.

“We love coming back home and it-s hard not to love when you see this sort of weather as well. It-s always great and to be in this position we are in, being very, very close, but still very far away; the game is a funny game at times and anything can happen.

“Like I said we don-t want to get complacent; we-re 100% focused and determined to win the game on Wednesday night,” he concluded.

Tickets are still available for the match against Uzbekistan. To purchase your tickets, go to or phone on 132 849 or they can be purchased from all Ticketek outlets.

*ANZ Stadium referred to original name of Stadium Australia, due to rules of Asian Football Confederation.