McKay’s warning for Socceroos


Socceroos midfielder and Roar captain Matt McKay says the Australians have to ignore the challenges of travelling to Central Asia and must produce World Cup-worthy form when they take on Kyrgyzstan next week in their opening qualifier for Russia 2018.

“The danger is dropping our standards,” McKay warned.

“It is important we keep our high tempo and the way we have played in previous games.”

McKay said the Socceroos would attempt to gain as much knowledge as possible about their opponents and would treat them with the utmost respect despite Kyrgyzstan (177th) being ranked 114 places lower than Australia (63rd) on the latest FIFA/Coca-Cola world rankings.

“If we can execute our game plan and use the positives in our side, we should have no problems,” he said.

McKay starred in the Roar’s 3-0 FTP World Challenge victory last week against La Liga club Villarreal at Suncorp Stadium and comes into the camp with superior match fitness than some of his squad mates whose seasons finished weeks ago .

“The Roar have trained extremely hard over the last month . . . we had a good result and I’m feeling physically great leading into this camp,” McKay said.

Australia and Kyrgyzstan are in FIFA World Cup AFC qualifying group B which also includes Bangladesh, Jordan and Tajikistan.

Next week’s clash from Dolen Omurzakov Stadium in Bishkek will be broadcast exclusively live on Fox Sports and on a one-hour delay on SBS. The match kicks off at 12am AEST on Wednesday, 17 June.