Australia's Aaron Mooy (left) on the ball.
Australia's Aaron Mooy (left) on the ball. JULIAN SMITH

Socceroos boss fires up over players' lack of ambition

SOCCEROOS boss Ange Postecoglou has voiced his concern over the individual ambitions of several of his players and says he'll be selecting his upcoming squad accordingly.

The Socceroos play crucial World Cup qualifiers away to Iraq and against the UAE in Sydney, and in an exclusive sit-down interview with Fox Sports News 500, the coach said there weren't enough players that have taken their careers forward since the Asian Cup triumph of 2015, forcing him to choose some diamonds in the rough for the clashes at the end of the month.

"It's a challenge for all these guys. We talk a lot about the Asian Cup and you look at the starting 11 and the squad and where they were in their careers then and where they are now there hasn't been a hell of a lot of progress," he said.

"That's a little bit alarming for me. Back then the idea was to introduce a whole lot of players and hopefully by this time at a critical time of a World Cup cycle they're all playing at a higher level. Well, we haven't got many of those.

"Apart from Aaron (Mooy), who wasn't even in that squad - he came in after - not many of them have. I'm not going to just pick guys who are playing well enough to be in the national team, we need to be more ambitious than that.

"What worked leading into the Asian Cup was picking some players that many weren't expecting and I'm almost at that point where I might have to dig a little deeper to find more guys who have that ambition.

"We're going to be really aggressive this year and I'm going to pick guys who suit that. If you want to go to a Confederations Cup you have to play well now, if you want to go to a World Cup we have to win these games. There's so much at stake."

Australia sits third in its qualifying group with five matches still to play. The top two qualify for Russia 2018.

Postecoglou will announce his squad on Wednesday.