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Australian Football: Socceroos ace fires rallying call

Socceroos defender Milos Degenek says it is good to have World Cup qualification in their own hands still and they are confident of getting the job done.

Australia are priced at 500/1 to win the 2022 FIFA World Cup but they have to get there first of all and are making hard work of it.

Dropped points

Graham Arnold's men got off to a great start and looked to be coasting towards qualification, but a run of disappointing results have stopped them in their tracks and now it is too close for comfort.

Defeat to Japan and draws with Saudi Arabia and China have seen Australia drop to third on the ladder and only the top two qualify automatically with third place going into a play-off.

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The final two matches will see them play Japan and group leaders Saudi Arabia so if they can win their remaining four games they will qualify automatically.

Next up is games against Vietnam and Oman and Degenek knows there can be no slip-ups.

"We're all positive. We all know what's expected of us," he said. "As Arnie said, you win the next four games you qualify for the World Cup and you leave nothing to chance. The best part about it is it's all in our hands. No one else can decide our destiny apart from us.

"We need to win. We need to play well. There's no ifs and buts about it."

Sick Arnold to miss out

Preparations for the two games have been hampered by the fact that coach Arnold has come down with sickness and has to stay away from the players.

However Degenek says Australia are professional enough to still get the job done.

"We're going to miss him because he's a head coach but with the staff that we've got, Rene, Viddy, JC (John Crawley, goalkeeping coach) and Clarkey (head of sports science Andrew Clark), we've been together for last three or four years," Degenek added.

"Everyone knows what to expect and we know how to perform and all the messages are all the same."

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