Osieck expects Aussies to qualify

Australia coach Holger Osieck is confident his team can qualify for the 2014 World Cup after being drawn alongside Saudi Arabia, Oman and Thailand.

Football News: Australia

Prior to 2006, Australia had been participating under the Oceania Football Confederation, who were not guaranteed an automatic spot at the World Cup Finals.

Instead, the best-placed team had to enter a play-off against another qualifier from a different continent, to face off for the final spot.

Australia suffered heartbreak in 2002 when they lost 3-1 on aggregate to Uruguay at the final hurdle, but enjoyed success four years later, when they exacted revenge on the South American nation after a penalty-shootout victory to seal their place at the Germany finals.

Since then, Australia have been accepted into the Asian Football Confederation where they now vie for four automatic qualifying spots, which they did for the last World Cup.

Osieck, who took over as head coach of Australia in August 2010, believes his side can repeat that feat once again.

"I think we have a good group and we'll definitely have to show our best to make it through," Osieck told The World Game.

"Our target is to qualify for Brazil. On the way to Brazil you have to play your game and go through it, you have to do your best, and I always have got confidence in our team."

However, Osieck was under no illusions that all their opponents would be suitably prepared in their respective bids for a spot at the 2014 finals.

"All teams have high expectations and they will have very diligent preparations, so you have to play every game first and then you can see.

Australia begin their qualifying campaign at home to Thailand - arguably the group's weakest team - on September 2, and Osieck hopes home advantage will help his players get off to a winning start.

"Maybe it's good to start with a home game so we can get into it and get the support from the home crowd."

Osieck was Germany assistant manager from 1987 to 1990 but his spell in charge of Australia represents his first foray as the head coach of a national team.

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