Australia 'saviour' Cahill deserves World Cup place, says Johnston

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The final squad was the result of a two-week training camp in Antalya, Turkey and a 4-0 global friendly win over Czech Republic.

Jamie Maclaren's World Cup dream will finally be realised after months of torment as he was named in the Australian squad which will face France, Denmark and Peru in Russian Federation later this month.

From then on, Australia looked considerably more risky in attack than their European counterparts, who showed little to suggest their World Cup qualification failure was a fluke.


The Aussies play Hungary next Sunday morning at 1:30am in their last hit out before the tournament.

Still taking in his change of fortune, from World Cup omission to securing a place in the Australian squad for Russia, Maclaren revealed the pep talk he had received from Socceroos boss Bert van Marwijk that helped him secure that place.

The Socceroos have returned to their hot-weather training camp in Antalya, Turkey full of confidence after their record-breaking and drought-ending defeat of Czech Republic.


The Hibernian striker was a part of Bert van Marwijk's 32-man squad, but wasn't named as part of a lead-up training camp.

"I am not a magician, I can not in two days [teach] a team to play exactly the way I like them to do", he told the Guardian newspaper before his first game in charge, a 4-1 not-so-friendly defeat by Norway in Oslo, which was followed by a 0-0 draw with Colombia. We can train every day, that's very important, and to play two friendly games is enough.

The 66-year-old Dutchman had to break the news to defender Fran Karacic, midfielder Josh Brillante and forward pair James Troisi and Nikita Rukavytsya that their World Cup dreams were over.


Van Marwijk surprised many by opting for a fresh-faced, attack minded 23-man squad, including wunderkind Daniel Arzani alongside Jamie Maclaren, Tomi Juric, Andrew Nabbout and Dimitri Petratos. So impressed was van Marwijk by the right-back's progression, he did not need to consider another full-back in his squad, freeing up a role for an extra attacker. "He's also a player who can make a difference", the coach said. "He was honest, and as a player you want a coach to be honest, you don't want him to say something and then go and do something else".

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