World Cup clock ticks for Socceroos coach

Steve Larkin
Coach Bert van Marwijk knows that the clock is ticking for the Socceroos

The ticking of the World Cup clock doesn't make Australian coach Bert van Marwijk nervous.

He has spent the first week of camp at Antalya, on the Mediterranean coastline of southern Turkey, whipping the Socceroos into shape.

Van Marwijk's 27-man training squad is complete with the arrival of captain Mile Jedinak and goalkeeper Danny Vukovic.

But soon, he will cut four players with Australia's final 23-man World Cup announced on Monday.

"I am not nervous but when I started I wanted to start with all players," van Marwijk told Optus Sport in Turkey.

"The first mission we have is to get them all on the same physical level.

"That is not so easy because players (are) coming back from injury, it's a very big difference and you want to prepare.

"But you don't have a lot of time. That is my problem.

"I knew it before. I knew I can't change it. I cannot blame anybody.

"But I'm happy everybody is here and I can train with all players."

The Socceroos are entering their final phase of World Cup preparations, with a friendly against Czech Republic on Friday.

Van Marwijk will announce his final squad on Monday with another friendly, against Hungary, on June 9, before Australia's June 16 World Cup opener against France.

Van Marwijk, whose 40th-ranked team also play Denmark and Peru, has tried to fast-track fitness levels with an intense bootcamp at their Antalya base.

And the Dutchman has been impressed by the discipline of his players - but also noted their desire to follow orders might be curtailing their flair.

"What I was a little bit surprised about was they did everything exactly the way I told them," van Marwijk said.

"In life you (also) have to take decisions for yourself.

"Sometimes, things change. Sometimes, they are different. Then you have to anticipate that.

"I like discipline but I also like players who develop themselves and who sometimes take their own decisions."

Striker Tomi Juric is struggling with a knee injury ahead of Friday's friendly against 45th-ranked Czech Republic in St Polten, Austria.

The fixture will be van Marwijk's third in charge of the Socceroos, following a 4-1 loss to Norway and a scoreless draw against Colombia in March.