31 July 2014 08:00
Mark Milligan said the Socceroos will target winning the Asian Cup on home soil after the progress made under Ange Postecoglou.
Melbourne Victory captain Milligan has been a key member of the national team set-up under his former club coach, starting at the FIFA World Cup in Brazil before succumbing to a hamstring strain.
The Socceroos finished bottom of their group and came home winless from the tournament, but were able to hold their heads high after producing competitive performances against Chile and the Netherlands.
In January, Australia will host the Asian Cup, a competition they reached the final of in 2011 under Holger Osieck.
And with the popular, progressive Postecoglou at the helm, Milligan said the team should be aiming to go one step further this time around.
“I think the expectations the players are going to put on it are going to be extremely high,” he said.
“Especially after our success at the last Asian Cup. I think to be at home, expectations will be to win it.
“That’ll be driven by the players after the performance and effort that we put in through Brazil.”
Milligan has been designated Victory’s domestic marquee for the 2014-15 season and is expected to finalise a two-year extension to his contract at the club in the near future.
“I haven’t signed, (but) everything’s been negotiated,” he said.
“It’s been a long process. We’re just sort of sitting down now, dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s, just making sure everything’s in place.
“It’s basically done. I have a year running on my deal, hopefully it’ll be a new three-year deal.”
Having returned to pre-season training this week following an extended break after the World Cup, Milligan is confident of boasting a clean bill of health going into the new campaign.
“I’ve been very lucky with my knee since I had it done,” he said, referring to the minor surgery he underwent in January.
“I haven’t had any dramas with it. And the hamstring was just poor timing.”
With Milligan some way behind his team-mates in terms of fitness levels, the FFA Cup round-of-32 tie away to Bayswater City in Western Australia on August 20 could arrive too soon for the skipper.