I’ll do it my way: Bert puts stamp on Socceroos
NEW Socceroos coach Bert van Marwijk declared that he would not have accepted the job if he did not think they were capable of advancing from their World Cup group.
The 2010 FIFA World Cup finalist was on Thursday unveiled to the Australian press at Football Federation Australia's Sydney offices, just hours after touching down from Holland.
Named as Ange Postecoglou's successor five months after qualifying Saudi Arabia ahead of the Socceroos in their Asian qualifying group, van Marwijk admitted Australians' "special" mentality was a lure.
Van Marwijk confirmed that he had no interest in coaching Australia beyond Russia 2018, but said his sole focus was on June.
"If I didn't have confidence (of getting to the knockout stage), I wouldn't be sitting here. But it won't be easy,'' van Marwijk said.
"The mentality of Australia is special, the sports culture is special and I (wanted to) go to the World (Cup). So that's a good combination.
"I go to the World Cup with only one that that counts - surviving the first round. Our opponents are good countries.
"I'm a realistic coach and I like creative football, I like to have the ball. But I also like to win, that's the most important thing.
"It's important that we play in a way that fits the players and the coach."
Van Marwijk admitted he had a sound grasp of the existing squad, but didn't rule out adding new faces despite resisting the temptation to pick an extended squad for the March friendlies against Norway and Colombia.
The Dutchman will spend this weekend watching A-League games, though he'll spend most of his time in Europe between now and June.
"It's important to get to know the players as soon as possible," he said.
"I'm respectful of the former coach. But I'll do it in my way.
"It's a big challenge especially because we have not so much time. It's short, only a few months.
"I have to get to know the players very well in a very short time, but it makes the challenge for me even bigger.
"They (the Socceroos) can play football and they try to play, they are strong, physically strong.
"The challenge is to let them play in a way that we have more chance of winning games."
FFA chief executive David Gallop said van Marwijk was their "no.1 target" once the criteria was established, because of his past success and Socceroos knowledge attained coaching the Saudis against the Socceroos.
"We secured a world class coach within the budget plus some of his trusted advisors," Gallop said.