Socceroos still confident - Smith

Sporting News

Full-back Brad Smith sees the Socceroos' status as the only unbeaten team in their World Cup qualifying group as a big confidence boost for the must-win match against United Arab Emirates.

Australia have the chance to put four points between them andthe UAE in Sydney on Tuesday night but a top-two spot remains the objective in Group B.

Three points at Allianz Stadium will keep the pressure on group leaders Saudi Arabia and second-placed Japan with two more matches in Australia still to come for the Socceroos on the road to Russia 2018.

"We're on our home soil, we've got our fans to help us through it and we've got plenty of confidence," Smith told reporters on Sunday.

"The team has been working really hard and I feel like we're doing well.

"Everyone knows it's a big game but theSoccerooshave never really had it easy, have they?

"We're leaving it late but I think we'll get the job done."

The Socceroos' 1-1 draw with Iraq last week has left them third in Group B - outside the automatic qualification berths for next year's World Cup - three points behind Saudi Arabia and Japan.

Australia have drawn their past four qualifiers to sit just one point ahead of the UAE.

Meanwhile, the Socceroos' new face Riley McGree has found himself in the thick of preparations for one of the national team's most important matches in recent years.

The 18-year-old says the support of Tim Cahill and fellow Socceroosveterans has been invaluable.

Tim Cahill UAE v Australia World Cup qualifying 06092016
Tim Cahill UAE v Australia World Cup qualifying 06092016

"[Tim] has been around so long, he's very knowledgeable and he knows what the coach wants and how the other players feel about new boys coming in," McGree said.

"I'm just taking everything in my stride and learning as much as I can from the coaching staff and the players and just trying to develop myself as a player more."

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Australia defeated the UAE 1-0 in Abu Dhabi in September thanks to a 75th-minute strike from Cahill, who was set up by Smith.

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