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Football: Australia coach warns against complacency

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Coach Holger Osieck has warned the Socceroos against complacency after they moved within one game of making the World Cup finals, as preparations for that final crunch match start immediately.

Australia's 4-0 thumping of Jordan on Tuesday means a win against out-of-contention Iraq in Sydney next week will secure a spot at the 2014 tournament in Brazil.

The dominant display against Jordan boosted confidence after a lacklustre qualifying campaign but Osieck was keen to hose down any over-exuberance.

"It was an excellent performance and a real team effort ... It was good to have a win like that which will definitely give a lot of confidence for the last game against Iraq," said the German.

"We made a big step forward but we haven't crossed the finish line.

"That's a fact and I made it perfectly clear in the dressing-room to the players that the preparation for next Tuesday has started already."

Skipper Lucas Neill echoed his coach's sentiments following one of the team's most authoritative recent victories.

"We told the guys that the job's not done," the former West Ham defender said after scoring his first international goal in his 91st appearance for his country.

"It was a great team performance, fantastic result, clean sheet and just for once I'm going to be a little bit selfish, and be delighted I've capped it off with my first goal.

"There's been a fantastic focus and intensity ... and it's a straightforward equation. We know exactly what we've got to do with one match to go, and the prize is Brazil."

Goals to Mark Bresciano, Tim Cahill, Robbie Kruse and Neill lifted Australia into the second automatic place in Asian qualifying Group B, behind Japan who are already safely through.

A victory in Sydney on Tuesday will be enough to earn Australia a place at their third World Cup in a row and Osieck suggested he will not be making any changes to his starting line-up.

"For now, this is my best XI," he said.

"In the past I've always had to shift players through injury, loss of form or suspension. Now I'm on the fortunate position that I don't have to worry."

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130611/football-australia-coach-warns-against-complacency