Australia could be just a point away from moving into the next stage of World Cup qualifiers, but coach Holger Osieck is remaining cautious.
Australia sit top of Group D in the AFC’s third round of qualifying after cruising to their third-straight win – an effortless 3-0 disposal of Oman in Sydney on Tuesday – but Osieck has refused to sign off on his side’s progression.
Despite having three matches remaining to secure the one or two points needed to guarantee safe passage to the next round of qualifiers, the pragmatic Socceroos boss remains guarded.
“It was important for us to win but it’s not a finished situation,” Osieck said.
“We still have to win games, we still have to gain points.”
“It’s not the end of the story – we are aware of that – but it always gives you a good feeling to have a good win at home.”
“When you perform well it gives you a boost for the upcoming jobs we have to do.”
“I guarantee you we take it very seriously.”
Australia can put their group rivals out of reach with victory over Oman in the return leg in Muscat on November 11.
That game is followed by a tricky assignment against Thailand in Bangkok four days later.
“Oman on their home soil won’t be easy and conditions in Thailand are not always easy,” Osieck said.
“It’s going to be unpredictable conditions and not easy so I never think of that (guaranteed success).”
“I only think of doing our job of performing and we get our reward for that.”
Oman coach Paul le Guen acknowledged his team was up against a formidable opponent in the Socceroos.
“We tried our best but I knew they are stronger than us,” he said.
“They are stronger, more powerful and have a little bit more in each aspect of the game and they deserved to win.”
“Australia is better than us but we have to keep our chin up and fight.”