FIFA's yellow card ruling boosts Australia's mood - Milos Degenek
Ahead of the biggest matches of his life, Socceroos defender Milos Degenek has hailed the mental boost from FIFA's disciplinary ruling.
Degenek is one of eight Socceroos to have a yellow card cleared from their name for the World Cup qualifying playoff with Honduras, freeing them from the threat of missing the second leg with a caution in San Pedro Sula.
"I was excited and I think the other seven or eight players would be excited about it as well," he said.
Given Degenek's last performance in an Australian shirt, it's easy to understand his delight.
The 23-year-old made a last-ditch extra-time tackle on Syria's Omar Al Soma to preserve Australia's advantage in last month's Asian playoff.
The decision has come too late for suspended pair Mathew Leckie and Mark Milligan, who are eligible for only the second leg after receiving a yellow card in Sydney.
"Shame they didn't do that before the Syria game, so we'd have Leckie and Millsy here," Degenek said.
"If we do the job right we shouldn't be getting cards.
"But you never know, you might have to do something last-ditch to save the team and obviously I wouldn't mind doing anything to save the team and to help us progress to the World Cup.
Degenek is one of several players blooded by coach Ange Postecoglou expected to see action in the away leg.
Despite speculation around Postecoglou's future and the tension of a do-or-die playoff, Degenek said a feel-good vibe still existed in camp.
"Every time I come into camp I come into a big family," he said.
"I feel very welcome. You feel the love between the boys.
"I have a lot of respect for our boss because he's the one who gave me the chance and I'll forever be grateful and thankful for that.
"It makes a difference when Timmy [Cahill] or Mile [Jedinak] or in other cases when Millsy [Mark Milligan] comes in, and just grabs you around the arm and says just relax, it's all fine, it's all good.
"It helps us younger players. It helps everyone really know that even they don't have to say anything.
"The presence of someone is sometimes just enough to make you feel we're going to be fine."
Degenek said they were "the two biggest games" of his career.
"Hopefully they're two games that we can remember positively," he said.