Don't worry be happy, Mabil tells Socceroos fans

Awer Mabil has sought to ease the jitters of Socceroos fans fearful of missing out on 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification, urging them "not to be worried".

Awer Mabil

Awer Mabil during the recent Socceroos camp Source: Getty Images

The uncapped Portugal-based flier, who was part of the squad against Japan and Thailand, advised supporters and critics alike to buckle up and "enjoy the ride" to Russia 2018.

With Australia heading into a two-leg play-off against Syria next month to stay alive in a trans-global quest to book their tickets to the World Cup, Mabil declared: "People shouldn't be worried, they should just trust the process. 

"The coach has a great plan, his football philosophy is amazing. The way people have looked at Australia in the past is that we are just a physical side.

"But now they can see that we can dominate teams through possession.

"People should not be concerned, they should just enjoy the ride and support the boys because there is no doubt we are on the right path ... not just for now, but for the future.

"I believe we will be going to the World Cup, I don't have any doubt about that.

"We all trust the coach. He is sticking to what he believes in and what he feels is right.

"People can talk, either positively or negatively, but that shouldn't change what your intentions are."

Postecoglou has come under fire for Australia's failure to clinch an automatic qualification spot whilst switching to a three-at-the-back system at the midway point of the qualification campaign. 

If they dispose of Syria, either Honduras, Panama or USA await in another two-legged duel in November. 

But Mabil, who rose from the grinding poverty of a Kenyan refugee camp on the Sudanese border to build a new life in Australia, is no stranger to adversity, and doing things the hard way. 

"When it comes to the difficult path, you have to be ready for it (in life) and I'm sure we will be," he said.

"The boys will be prepared to get the job done."

Mabil, 21, hung on the every utterance of Postecoglou and his new Socceroos teammates during his maiden camp.

"I've observed everything and learned so much," Mabil said.

"I just have to try and put it all into my game now the best way I can. 

"The mentality there, and the way everything is approached, is amazing.

"If I am called in again by my country it will be the best feeling in the world."

Due to serve the second of a two-match ban after a straight red for his new club Pacos de Ferreira, Mabil was somewhat dumbfounded by the decision.

But he will use it as a lesson to curb any impetuous instincts in the future.

"I'm normally quite placid but I reacted after being provoked and I shouldn't have done so," he said, after the send off in just his fourth start.

"I was being kicked the whole game and then I'd finally had enough and I stepped on the player's foot and that's what got me the red.

"I just have to get back now to hopefully help the team pick up some wins."

Despite picking up just three points from their opening five games in Portugal's Primeira Liga, Mabil said a turnaround is imminent.

"It's a good club, with good ambition people," Mabil said.

"The intention is there and it's just a matter of time before things start to fall into place for us."

Mabil has been re-united with one-time Adelaide teammate Dylan McGowan in Portugal, with the Socceroos defender having to bide his time in pursuit of match minutes.

Having joined Pacos from Danish Super Liga club Midtjylland on a season long loan, Mabil has been impressed with Portugal's top flight.

"I would say overall the standard is better here in Portugal than Denmark," he said.

"There is more football played. In Denmark it's a lot to do with set pieces but in saying that I learned a lot there. 

"You have be focused 100 per cent on defending.

"I now hope to combine these two aspects of my game and take the next step."

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4 min read
Published 14 September 2017 at 9:01pm
By Dave Lewis