The Qantas Socceroos’ attacking options received a huge boost with the arrival into camp of prolific striker Josh Kennedy earlier this week.
Kennedy missed Australia’s friendly against Denmark last Saturday in order to fully recover from his AFC Champions League showing for club side Nagoya Grampus at Adelaide’s Hindmarsh Stadium a fortnight ago.
With added rest and recovery, Kennedy has arrived into Muscat fresh and eager to make an impression when Australia’s FIFA World Cup qualifying journey re-commences in earnest on Friday.
“The trip here was quite good, I recovered from the Adelaide game quite well, so all things said and despite the travel I feel pretty good,” Kennedy said.
“Obviously it’s a big change, in the last week I’ve gone from Japan to Adelaide and Adelaide to Oman.
“We’ve played them (Oman) two times in the last qualification phase and they were two completely different games.
“It’s hard to get a measure on them and where they stand, it’s definitely going to be tough.
“Confidence wise they’ll have that confidence from the last time they beat us here, but on the same hand, we know we’re a better team and we can get the job done.”
Kennedy was on target the last time Australia hosted Oman in October 2011 and has enjoyed a successful period in green and gold of late.
Since missing the 2011 AFC Asian Cup through injury, Kennedy has found the back of the net eight times for his country in only seven appearances, underlining his importance to the national cause.
Kennedy is also one of a handful of survivors from Australia’s 2006 FIFA World Cup appearance, meaning a progression through to Brazil in 2014 would mark Kennedy’s third FIFA World Cup tilt.
Although such an achievement is potentially only eight matches away for the Qantas Socceroos, Kennedy is keeping a lid on his excitement for now.
“It’d be absolutely amazing,” said Kennedy.
“In saying that, there’s a lot of hard work before we get that far, but step by step, game by game and hopefully when we get a little bit closer, the excitement will get even bigger.”
The Qantas Socceroos begin their final phase of qualifying for the 2014 FIFA World Cup with a clash against Oman in Muscat on Friday, 8 June.
Soon after, the Qantas Socceroos will host Japan in their first home fixture of the fourth stage of Asia’s FIFA World Cup qualification process on Tuesday, 12 June at Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium. Kick off is at 8pm.
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