The 26-year old, who can also double as a left-back, is in Melbourne with the rest of the Socceroos squad preparing for Monday’s send off clash with New Zealand before heading to South Africa for the world’ biggest sporting event.
Carney is full of belief that if the Socceroos can keep all of their key players on the pitch and stick together that anything is possible at the World Cup whilst remaining realistic about the squad’s goals.
“Obviously, to get the through the stages. It is a hard group but I think with our quality we should manage that. Semi-finals would be unbelievable but I think just getting through the stage is what we are preparing for,” he said.
“I think with the World Cup, anything can happen. It’s important that we all stay fit and you never know. Will we win it? I don’t know but miracles do happen.”
The ex-Sydney FC and Sheffield United man watched on as the Socceroos competed in Germany in 2006 but says it is a great feeling to be part of this time, especially as he is going in on a high after helping Twente to the Dutch Eredivisie title this season.
“To be a part of it now is fantastic and we’ve all put in a lot of hard work to get here. I think the group we’ve got is a very hard group but we’ve just got to prepare and knuckle down and start against New Zealand in a warm-up and prepare right and hopefully we give it a good crack,” he added.
“It’s fantastic to be a part of the (Twente) squad. Since coming back from injury, you are playing every week and playing at Twente you had to win every game to win the league so losing wasn’t an option so hopefully I can take that mentality into the Socceroos where it is the same, losing ain’t an option, it is a good mentality to have.”
On Australia’s opponents, Germany, Ghana and Serbia, Carney is well aware that they all possess plenty of quality but said the team spirit of the Aussies could counter that.
“Man to man, there’s a lot of quality there so it’s difficult. It’s important that we keep our key players fit as well but I think we can definitely match everyone of them but don’t get me wrong, there’s quality players in each of those teams that are world-class. The thing with the Socceroos is we always seem to play well as a team and that’s one thing we’ve got in our favour. Our work ethic and our team bonding is very good and we always seem to do well as a team. I think we can match anyone, we can beat anyone in the world but we all have to be on form,” he said.
And as for himself, Carney is feeling good despite an injury-interrupted season although he is not acutely aware of the coach’s plans for him.
“I’ve been back for two or three months now so I’m back to full fitness so I’m happy with that. I’m just looking forward to getting underway with training now and I think a couple of games will be good for me with New Zealand on Monday night. I think there are a few of the boys in the same boat as well so everyone’s pretty much fit,” he added further.
“I don’t know if Pim (Verbeek) will start me on because he seems to put me on if we need energy but I seem to do that with Twente as well, starting on as a winger or coming on as a left-back so basically I’ve just got to be ready and keep myself ready for when I’m called upon so I don’t really know.”