Behich enjoying competition as Socceroos focus on World Cup

Australia defender Aziz Behich is relishing the increased competition in the Socceroos squad as the Graham Arnold-led team continue their quest later this week for a place at the 2022 World Cup finals.

The Australians, looking to qualify for a fifth consecutive World Cup, take on Oman in Doha on Thursday before travelling to face Japan at Saitama Stadium on Oct. 12 in the latest round of matches in the final phase of Asia’s World Cup preliminaries.

Arnold’s team won their opening games against China and Vietnam to sit level on points at the top of Group B alongside Saudi Arabia, with only the top two certain of progressing to the finals in Qatar.

“At the moment, we have a great squad,” said Behich, who is in line to earn his 44th cap against the Omanis.

“I think we have a great mix of experience and a lot of young boys coming in through the Olyroos which is great to see. “They had are a few good games in the Olympics and obviously, working with Arnie I think that they’ll only get better.”

Arnold led the Australian team during the summer’s football tournament at the Olympic Games and has looked to integrate several young players into his line-up.

Olyroos Harry Souttar, Riley McGree, Denis Genreau and Daniel Arzani have all been included in the senior Socceroos squad for the preliminaries.

“Competition is always healthy and at the end of the day, we’re all in this together and our main goal is to qualify for the World Cup,” said Behich.

“We push each other in every training, all the players give 100%. Our main goal is as a nation, as a group of players, it’s just to get to that World Cup.”