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Socceroos ramp up fear factor

AAP logoAAP 7/09/2016 Ben McKay

The Socceroos believe they've earned the right to be feared across Asia after a bold success over United Arab Emirates.

Australia's 1-0 win in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday night in sweltering heat and humidity at Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium has the side's confidence dial turned up to 11.

Robbie Kruse, whose tireless running helped secure the victory, said the Socceroos had sent a message that should be heard across the continent.

"Everyone should fear us in Asia," he said, echoing coach Ange Postecoglou's pre-match comments.

"We are the strongest nation, no doubt about it.

"A lot of people thought it was not possible to press and keep the ball (but) we did that perfectly, ran them around and dominated the game.

"Heading into the next game, teams will fear us a bit and back off. That's perfect for us.

"If they want to sit back, we'll pass it around and you can't chase for 90 minutes - it's impossible.

"It was a deserved victory ... the mentality we have as Aussies is always in our DNA and we proved that again."

The win capped a stellar week for the Socceroos after a 2-0 home defeat of Iraq.

Trent Sainsbury, one of a few Socceroos to play every minute of both matches, said completing Tuesday's match took every ounce of effort he had.

"I'll put my hand up and say it was the hardest game I've ever played, conditions-wise," he said.

"Every run felt like a 100m sprint.

"It was relief at the end mostly. I was just glad the game was finished."

He shared Kruse's enthusiasm for the Socceroos' future.

"Every game, we realise we can do it," he said.

"We're not going to change our game plan for anyone whether it's Germany or the UAE.

"We'll stick to our strengths and play our game because we can out-run any team."

Tuesday night's win has shortened Australia's odds of reaching a fourth straight World Cup, with bookmaker Sportsbet setting the Socceroos at a remarkable price of $1.08 to reach the 2018 tournament.

Kruse said the win had Australia poised for Russia perfectly.

"Six points is a great start," he said.

"We've got two massive games next month - away to Saudi and home to Japan - which will hopefully set us up for first place."

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