New Socceroos coach Bert van Marwijk has made the most of Australia's World Cup preparations with veteran Mark Milligan admitting the past three weeks have been 'borderline torture'.
Stationed in a state-of-the-art facility in Turkey, the Socceroos have been quickly brought up to van Marwijk's speeds with crueling double sessions most days over the past month leaving the green and gold primed for Russia.
Drawn in a difficult World Cup group with an opening game against France to come, Milligan concedes the pain over the past three weeks has been necessary.
"The last three weeks has sometimes been borderline torture,” Milligan said.
“We knew we needed it in the way we wanted to do things and the way we want to defend and attack.
“We had to be at the peak of our powers physically. Now we’ve arrived, we’ll be able to settle into what’s going to be our home for the next couple of weeks and it does get a bit easier."
Along with Milligan, Tim Cahill is the other Socceroo set for his fourth World Cup and believes Guus Hididnk's training camp for the 2006 World Cup remains the hardest he's been through.
While his training approach might not have been quite as tough as Hiddink, Cahill admitted van Marwijk has been able to teach him a thing or two before kick-off in Russia.
"Bert, when he walks into the room, he has a presence, but he also has a softness about him that the players can relate to," Cahill said.
"But his coaching style is relatable to football today, and also in simplifying, understanding the group.
"I've enjoyed the training because you'd think at 38 years old you can't learn. Well, the staff that he puts around him, I'm thankful that at 38 I'm learning something and I'm becoming a better player."