• Ange Postecoglou has urged Australian fans to believe in their players (Getty)
Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou has made an impassioned plea to Australia's football family to shed its innate inferiority complex that is holding back the game's progress.
21 Aug 2014 - 12:39 PM  UPDATED 21 Aug 2014 - 4:03 PM

Fresh from leading the new-look Socceroos in the FIFA World Cup in Brazil and with five months to go to the AFC Asian Cup on home soil, Postecoglou said Australians needed to show more belief in their representative teams.

Despite three losses againt Chile, Netherlands and Spain, the overall performance of the Socceroos in Brazil showed that Australians can play football even at the highest level, Postecoglou said.

"We need to change our negative attitude and I think that's an important part of our education as a football country," Postecoglou said after announcing his squad for September's matches against Belgium in Liege and Saudi Arabia in London.

The 20-man Socceroos squad for the games against Belgium and Saudi Arabia is:



A-International Caps(goals)



3 (0)


ACF Fiorentina, ITALY

1 (0)


New York Red Bulls, USA

71 (34)


West Bromwich Albion F.C., ENGLAND

10 (0)


Fortuna Dusseldorf, GERMANY

5 (0)

Chris HERD

Aston Villa FC, ENGLAND



Crystal Palace FC, ENGLAND

47 (5)


Western Sydney Wanderers FC, AUSTRALIA

3 (1)

Robbie KRUSE

TSV Bayer 04 Leverkusen, GERMANY

29 (3)

Mitchell LANGERAK (gk)

B.V. Borussia 09 Dortmund, GERMANY

3 (0)

Matthew LECKIE

FC Ingolstadt 04, GERMANY

11 (1)

Massimo LUONGO

Swindon Town FC, ENGLAND

1 (0)


Melbourne Victory FC, AUSTRALIA

30 (2)

Tommy OAR


18 (1)

Mat RYAN (gk)

Club Brugge KV, BELGIUM

10 (0)





Swindon Town FC, ENGLAND



Melbourne Victory FC, AUSTRALIA

50 (1)


Jeonbuk Hyundai FC, KOREA REPUBLIC

6 (0)


Preston North End FC, ENGLAND


"From my perspective it's not about playing the type of football most people externally and here in Australia think we can't play but about showing our players they can do it.

"If we show that, our pedigree and the way people perceive us will improve.

"We have to believe in ourselves because if we do not have that belief and confidence I guess the outside world is not going to see it either.

"As you are aware, I get pretty testy when people question my coaching experience.

"The reason I do things is not to pump myself up. I've lived in this country for pretty much my whole life and learned all my football here and I think I'm a smart enough guy to know that this is a game played worldwide and tap into any resource that I can.

"As an Australian I don't think I should be measured any less than anyone else and I don't see myself as any less than any other international coach.

"That's what I want to instil in the players we have through the football we play.

"The perception of our football is the biggest thing that I can change and our play in Brazil showed that we are on the right track.

"We showed we can play the type of football that is played in the top leagues and the Asian Cup will be no different."

Postecoglou said he was mystified by the foreign perception that Australian footballers are essentially aggressive, competitive and physical sportsmen who lack the finer and more sophisticated qualities of the game.

"That's just not right," Postecoglou said.

"I watched the game between Western Sydney and Guangzhou and I saw some Australian players who played some pretty good football.

"We need to believe more in ourselves so eventually those perceptions will get broken.

"After the World Cup I went over to Europe and people were saying in a back-handed compliment that they were surprised we could play that kind if positive football, particularly in the first two games against Chile and Netherlands.

"But I don't want anyone to be surprised by our football anymore.

"And if people continue to underestimate us there will be an opportunity for us to make some people wake up and take notice.

"They won't be happy about it because some people might not like to lose to Australians, as was the case with Guangzhou's Marcello Lippi."

Postecoglou, who is contracted with Football Federation Australia up to the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, said he would consider it a feather in his cap if by the end of his five-year tenure he will have raised the belief in the game among the country's football fraternity.

"I certainly hope that will be the case," he said.

"That's always been my driver. For me my greatest motivation has always been the game and for us to believe in ourselves."

Postecoglou said the most important positive he drew from the World Cup and which he will take to the Asian Cup in January is that his players were able to face the world's best with a positive approach.

"What's there to fear from now on?" he asked.

"I said to the players 'when you face the likes of Chile, Netherlands and Spain in a World Cup with all three doing their utmost to progress there is nothing to be afraid of in terms of the football we want to play'.

"There is no excuse for us to not do the same thing moving forward.

"Whatever challenges we have got ahead of us I don't think anything will be as daunting as what we faced in Brazil.

"So we will look at the Asian Cup as a progression from the World Cup."