Europe-based Tommy Oar says he must finish the season with his club APOEL on a strong note if he is to win a spot in the Socceroos squad for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
The former Brisbane Roar and Utrceht winger was a regular feature for the Australian national team under Holger Osieck and recently departed Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou.
Since making his debut as a teenager in 2010, Oar has amassed 28 caps for the Socceroos.
But Oar hasn’t figured for the national team since he played an early phase 2018 World Cup qualifier against Bangladesh in 2015.
A combination of a loss of form through injury and changing three clubs in three seasons could be the reason for his omission.
But looking ahead, the 26-year-old still has ambitions to play at Russia 2018.
“Of course, it would be fantastic to go, and it would be incredible,” he told FourFourTwo.
“But it's only achievable for me if I finish the season here in Cyprus very strongly.
“So, my focus is purely on doing that and hopefully winning the league here, and then will see what happens.
“If I think about it too much it affects my performances here in Cyprus it could ruin my chances.”
Playing under Postecoglou at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, the winger started all three of Australia’s games against Chile, Holland and Spain.
And Oar revealed he was saddened by the recent national team coach’s departure.
“Of course, I was disappointed as I know what a fantastic coach he is,” he said.
“He would've done a great job at the World Cup. He's also done a lot for me personally, having helped me breakthrough in Brisbane initially.
“But this is football and I'm sure whoever comes in will do a great job.
“Regardless of who they bring in as coach of Australia, he will have the full backing of all the playing group and the country.
“The team is going from strength to strength and we have a lot of reason to feel ambitious and optimistic going into the tournament.
“It's an exciting time for the Socceroos with the World Cup and Asian Cup around the corner.”