Mark Schwarzer has revealed Australia’s Asian Cup veterans laid down the law to their younger team-mates ahead of their Qatar campaign.
The 38-year-old Fulham goalkeeper was a member of the Socceroos squad that struggled in their debut Asian Cup appearance in 2007.
Billed as one of the favourites to win the tournament after their successful 2006 World Cup campaign, Australia laboured through the group stages and were knocked out in the quarter-finals by Japan.
Four years later, Schwarzer says the Socceroos are determined not to suffer the same fate in Qatar.
“That was something very, very much at the front of our minds,” Schwarzer told the Asian Cup’s official website.
“We made it very clear that for this tournament – especially the players that were there in 2007 and are here now – that we did not want to go through the same sort of process we did then.”
“It was important that we got off to a good start and it was important that we played some decent football as a team.”
The Socceroos have been true to their word so far, defeating India 4-0 and fighting out a 1-1 draw with South Korea to top Group C with four points.
A draw with Bahrain on Tuesday will be enough to see Australia through to the last eight, and Schwarzer says the next step will be to erase the pain of their quarter-finals loss four years ago.
“We are very united as a group and we are determined to perform better than we did four years ago,” he said.