Two-time World Cup Socceroo Mark Schwarzer, says the Socceroos will have greater expectation to perform at the 2018 Russia World Cup, compared to their 2014 predecessors.
When Australia scored the ultimate group of death at the 2014 Brazil World Cup expectations that the Socceroos could make it out of the group stage were virtually zero.
Then national team coach Ange Postecoglou used the match ups against South American powerhouse Chile, 2010 finalist Holland and reigning champions Spain as a warm up for the 2015 Asian Cup.
History shows that while Australia performed admirably in Brazil, the Socceroos delivered their worst results at the finals after they came away from the tournament without a point.
Ahead of the Socceroos first game group of the World Cup against France on Saturday night, Schwarzer said the current national team will have a different mindset heading into Russia.
“In 2014 there was zero expectation and there was almost a bit of a free pass given,” he said speaking to FourFourTwo.
“In 2006 with the group of players that we had and the level we were playing at, there was more of an expectation and we were in a tough group and we delivered on that occasion.
“In 2010, again there was a sense of expectation which we failed to deliver to the level that we should have.
“Whereas this time round It’s slightly different for these guys because we have a new manager in Bert Van Mawijk and he will be putting pressure on these guys to deliver at that level.”
Schwarzer believes that unlike four years ago there will be a clear indication of what a positive campaign for the Socceroos will look like in Russia.
“Getting out of the group. Without a doubt. Getting out of the group is a success, 100%,” he said.
“If you want to go on last tournament getting a point was the marker but we are looking above that.
“This is a group of players who are four years older and more experienced. The manager who is at the helm has an enormous amount of experience at a World Cup.
“He has been employed to get the best out of this team at a World Cup so success for me is getting out of the group and they are capable of doing it.
And according to Schwarzer the key for the Socceroos making the knockout stages is how well the team does in getting themselves ready for the first game against France.
“It’s all about the preparation isn’t it?” he said.
“It’s about the lead up. No doubt they will do all the fitness and they will do all the work required to get fit.
“It’s about the fine tuning of the tactics and getting a better understanding of the information the manager will pass onto the players.
“Then it’s dealing with the pressure, of playing in a World Cup.
“Not only are you there representing your country, you are at a World cup which is the be all and end all of any footballer’s dream – this is the tournament you want to play.”