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Postecoglou: We want to dominate Japan

10:04 PM EDT 8/30/17
Ange Postecoglou Australia
The Socceroos boss has fired a warning shot at the Blue Samurai, saying his players are ready to impose themselves on the game

Australia coach Ange Postecoglou has aggressively put Japan on notice heading into Thursday night's blockbuster World Cup qualifier in Saitama.

Both teams can achieve automatic qualification for Russia with a win in the fixture after Saudi Arabia lost to the UAE on Wednesday morning.

But the Japanese have never beaten Australia in World Cup qualifying and Postecoglou is keen on keeping that record intact with a commanding performance.

"Our intent is to dominate the game. Whether that's in a physical sense or with possession or with territory," Postecoglou said in his press conference on the eve of the game.

"Which way that'll be will depend a little bit on how the opposition set up and which areas we can capitalise on.

"We'll go into the game like we have every other World Cup qualifier and that is trying to win.

"While we respect our opposition always, we always believe we have the capability to win the game."



There has been plenty of criticism from fans and pundits about the team's unorthodox 3-4-3 formation, but Postecoglou explained he wasn't just focusing on making the World Cup, but also on being a strong performer at the tournament.

"It's not just about qualifying for us. We want to continue to evolve and become a really strong team to compete at a World Cup and do well," he said.

"If you can beat Japan away from home, it's a good indicator that you're a strong team.

"It's not just about getting a result - it’s about playing well against a quality opponent and showing that we have progressed as a team."

The Socceroos can still qualify automatically with a draw against Japan, provided they get three points against Thailand in Melbourne on Tuesday.