Robbie Kruse taking nothing for granted as Australia prepare for UAE showdown
Australia forward Robbie Kruse insists the squad are taking nothing for granted in their pursuit of the Asian Cup trophy as they prepare to face the UAE in Tuesday’s semi-final.
The tournament hosts were perhaps expecting to play Japan in the last-four but the defending champions were eliminated by the UAE following a penalty shoot-out on Friday.
Australia’s media rejoiced at what they saw as an easier path to next weekend’s final, but given the UAE’s stunning form at the tournament, Kruse will not get carried away.
“We can be the first team to win major silverware here in Australia, and to do it on our home soil is something special,” Kruse told reporters in Newcastle.
“So it has always been the focus to come here and get the job done – and the job is to win the tournament.
“In saying that, we take each game as it comes. Some people may say we’re already in the final but we’re not looking at it like that. It’s going to be tough.”
Kruse’s form in the tournament has been a big factor in Australia’s progression to the final four, and the UAE, so impressive defensively against Japan, will need to be at their best to contain the Bayer Leverkusen forward.
And despite his Asian Cup from, Kruse warned he is still approaching his best after undergoing knee surgery last year, which forced him to miss the World Cup.
“Maybe not quite there fully but I’m getting pretty close,” he added.
“Obviously the game time is going to help me get better and better and I feel like I’m doing fairly well in the tournament and so are we collectively as a group.
“That is what it’s about. We don’t focus too much on the individual.”
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Published: January 24, 2015 04:00 AM