World Cup 2014: Kewell upbeat on Socceroos' chances

WORLD CUP 2014

Harry Kewell has a message for those declaring the Socceroos are going to get belted at the World Cup: keep it up.

The recently retired great reckons the more Ange Postecoglou's men are written off, the better they are likely to perform.

Australia kick off their campaign on Saturday morning against Chile, the team Kewell rates as the dark horse of the tournament.

Postecoglou will field a youthful side short on World Cup experience, particularly in defence after the axing of 80-game veteran Luke Wilkshire.

Probably voicing the fears of many fans, ex-captain Paul Wade has warned the Socceroos will get "absolutely smashed" in Brazil, where they face powerhouses in Chile, the Netherlands and Spain.

Former No. 1 goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer questioned Wilkshire's omission and stood by his claim that the Socceroos don't have their best team without Brett Holman (retired) and Lucas Neill.

Kewell, who played in two World Cups for Australia, said such comments will only provide extra motivation for the national team.

"This might sound strange, but I kind of like it when detractors say the Socceroos will go poorly," Kewell wrote in a blog post on Wednesday.

"When people say they will struggle to even get a few shots on target, that is exactly the type of motivation that gets an Australian footballer's adrenaline going and gives them the extra motivation to prove everyone wrong.

"If there is something Aussies are great at, it is being the underdog.

"That's the best thing about this situation - there is nothing to lose."

Kewell believes the Socceroos are capable of proving to the world that they can play - win, lose or draw.

"As long as they are putting out performances of a World Cup standard, everyone should be proud."

Kewell will be in Brazil to watch the Socceroos take on Chile and the Netherlands, but said "a big part" of him will be wishing he was on the field. AAP

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