Australia defender Luke Wilkshire believes the victory over Germany in March was a crucial result as the team strives to redeem themselves following the 2010 World Cup. The Socceroos defeated Die Mannschaft 2-1 in Monchengladbach in a friendly and the Dinamo Moscow right-back, who scored the winner from the penalty spot, says that the performance was exactly what the squad needed to get their belief back.
"It was only a friendly but to play a team of their calibre, in Germany - where they haven't lost for a long time - and to win there was a great achievement,'' Wilkshire said.
''It was a great result and maybe it silenced a few of the doubters who questioned our team after the last World Cup. I think, overall, since the 2006 World Cup we've done very well. Our performances and results have been very good.
''It was especially good because a few younger boys were playing and it showed that we've got depth and quality, we're pushing forward, we're hungry and want to improve.''
Australia have two upcoming friendlies against New Zealand and Serbia, in Adelaide and Melbourne respectively, which Wilkshire knows will be a big test. He said getting over the hectic travel schedule (he will fly to Australia from Moscow) is something professional players simply have to deal with.
''It's not easy, you've got to get over the travel and the jet lag, so it's going to be tight,'' he added.
''But that's professional football. That's how it is, that's what's expected of you. There's always demands, always games to prepare for and play but that's the life of a footballer these days. I've been around for a while now, so I'm used to it.''