The Socceroos touched down in the United Arab Emirates last night to defend their Asian Cup crown and immediately had a training session as coach Graham Arnold vowed to win every game.
In the four years since the Socceroos won in 2015, they've had three coaches and lost talisman striker Tim Cahill and Captain Sensible Mile Jedinak.
Despite taking over the reins after the 2018 World Cup in Russia and has limited time with his squad, Arnold is no stranger to the hot seat or the Asian Cup, having been at helm during Australia’s first-ever foray in the Continental showpiece.
“In 2007, I was the interim coach and I probably didn’t deserve to be in that job and that role at that time, he said today.
"But I have gone away and worked hard in club land and I feel that I deserve the role this time. So, I am really looking forward to the challenges ahead.
“It was our first time in Asia and it was our first time in a major tournament in Asia, so we learnt a lot from it.
"We learnt that you need to prepare properly, that there are no easy games, that you need to be mentally switched on for every game, and that you need to adapt to the conditions to the style of game that you play,"
Since his last stint, Arnold enjoyed success with Central Coast Mariners and Sydney FC, winning three A-League Premiership titles.
Results following his return to the international arena has been impressive with early convincing wins against Lebanon and Kuwait en route to the UAE.
“In our preparations, we have played against Kuwait and Lebanon who are very similar to the three nations that we have drawn in the group,” added the Socceroos coach, who will face Jordan, Palestine and Syria in Group B.
“The good part of that is that we are playing three teams that play a very similar style. We will do our preparation and our analysis as well, but it is all about us.
"It is about our attitude being right, us being ready for those games, preparing properly, and going out and expecting to win every game.”
Australia will have a final friendly against Oman on December 30 then start their campaign against Jordan on January 6, at the Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium in Al Ain before travelling to Rashid Stadium in Dubai to face Palestine on January 11.
The Socceroos will then reignite their epic contest against Syria, who last faced Australia in the nailbiting play-off for the last place at Russia 2018 which caught the attention of football fans around the globe, in their last Group B match on January 15, at the Khalifa Bin Zayed Stadium in Al Ain.