Mitch Langerak is expecting his stellar form with VfB Stuttgart to be rewarded with the Socceroos in their hectic June period, which includes the Confederations Cup.
As well as that tournament in Russia, Australia will face a crucial World Cup qualifier against Saudi Arabia at Adelaide Oval on Thursday and a marquee friendly against Brazil at the MCG on 13 June.
Langerak is once again among Ange Postecoglou’s 23-man squad for the month alongside goalkeeping colleagues Mat Ryan and Danny Vukovic.
The 28-year-old helped Stuttgart earn promotion back to the Bundesliga by finishing atop the second division, playing every minute of the league campaign.
“There was a lot of expectation but to fulfil those expectations is something that we’re very proud of and now we’re all looking forward to next season in the Bundesliga,” Langerak said of Stuttgart’s campaign just gone.
“I’ve had a few good seasons here and there but I think last year was probably my favourite for a lot of reasons. To finally win the league and win promotion on the last day of the season was unbelievable.
“We’re probably one of the favourites of many to be in danger next season. This year in the Bundesliga, it’s going to be one of the toughest … there’s a lot of excitement.”
Despite the fierce competition, Langerak is anticipating more minutes under his belt at international level.
He started Australia’s World Cup qualifier against Iraq in Tehran, which ended in a 1-1 draw, but again found himself on the bench a few days later against UAE in favour of Mat Ryan.
But Langerak said his start against the Iraqis proved Postecolgou was ready to honour club form.
“The boss makes it very clear every time we come into camp that there’s no favourites, there’s nobody who’s guaranteed to play. Every spot is up for grabs and your club form will get recognised,” he said.
“That was something that was proven to me (vs Iraq). Every time I come in, it’s all about just making a good impression, showing everybody what I can do.
“It’s not about causing problems or doing anything like that, it’s about putting my best forward and if that’s going to help the team, then I’m all for that.”
Langerak added the Socceroos understand the gravity of the task at hand.
A win is required to bridge the gap between them and AFC Group B’s joint leaders, the Saudis and Japan, who are both locked on 16 points with three matches remaining.
Only the top two spots in the group command automatic qualification to Russia 2018.
“This is the most important (game) of this campaign,” Langerak said.
“We all understand that, we recognise that and we’re aware that it’s going to be important that we go out there and get the three points against Saudi Arabia.
“It’s not going to be an easy game. They are quite formidable opponents, but that’s something that we’re prepared for.”