Mark Schwarzer is confident the Socceroos can adapt to the difficult surroundings in their first World Cup qualifier against Oman in Muscat.
The veteran goalkeeper said the five-day training camp in extreme heat conditions will be largely beneficial to the players and coaching staff.
“It gives you time and the chance to have a better understanding of it and mentally as well knowing what to expect,” he said.
Schwarzer has not forgotten their shock 1-0 loss to Oman in November and is hoping they can build upon that experience.
“We look at that game as a very poor performance. Taking nothing away from Oman, they deserved it. Friday will be different with the extreme heat and is potentially a tougher game last time round; we have to learn from it,” Schwarzer said.
The Fulham shot-stopper declared it is vital to make a good start to the campaign and is eager for the team to get a result.
“It’s always important. This is a huge game for us and we really do want to start off on the right foot and get a result,” he said.
As for a third successive appearance at a World Cup, the 39-year-old said that is the main reason why he continued playing and believes it would represent a remarkable achievement.
“I continued playing because I believe I’m still good enough at the highest level and it would be an unbelievable accomplishment if we qualify for 2014,” he said.
Right-back Luke Wilkshere is glad to be back amongst the training camp and echoed his teammate’s words about the tricky proposition of Oman.
“I was out with a hamstring injury for a few weeks and was suspended for the last game so it’s great to be back. We know it’s going to be tough and we need to be at our best to get some points,” Wilshere said.
“This is a vital game for us, we know what’s at stake and the last thing you want to be doing is playing catch-up.”
In other good news for Holger Osieck’s side, Harry Kewell made a return in the 2-0 friendly defeat to Denmark, playing a much-needed 70 minutes. The Melbourne Victory man is excited about linking up with fellow striker Alex Brosque after forging promising signs of a partnership against the Danes.
“I was linking up well with Alex and we created a lot of chances and we’re feeling good,” he said.
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