Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou won’t show his full hand on Tuesday night as Australia faces the toughest test in Asia – an away clash against Japan.

Forward Tim Cahill, who injured himself at training on Friday and missed Sunday’s session, said the match will be good practice for the Asian Cup, but Australia won’t be at full strength.

“They’re obviously the favourites for this tournament, but overall this is like a little bit of a dress rehearsal for what we can do for the Asian Cup, and also them. We want to analyse them as much as possible.

“I don’t think everything will be shown on Tuesday night. We’ll get a lot more from it being away from home, with the [Japanese] fans, an uncomfortable environment, a lot of the boys playing in a different situation.”

In an 11 v 11 game on Friday both Cahill and the other veteran of this squad, Mark Bresciano, were playing in what looked like the “second eleven” as Postecoglou put his squad through its paces.

His “first team” in that session and one on Sunday had Mat Ryan in goal, a back four of Ivan Franjic, Trent Sainsbury, Alex Wilkinson and Aziz Behich (replacing Jason Davidson), with Massimo Luongo, Mile Jedinak and Matt McKay in midfield. Robbie Kruse, James Troisi and Matthew Leckie were the main attackers.

If Bresciano and Cahill were to come in, it might be that Luongo and Leckie dropped to the bench. But Postecoglou already knows that the two veterans can deliver in the highest of pressure situations, so he may well want to see if the younger men can cope with the demands of such a testing environment.

The Japanese were very impressive in seeing off a weak Honduras 6-0 last Friday night, but under their own new coach, Mexican Javier Aguirre,? they have also been going through a period of self-examination following a disappointing World Cup when they failed to get out of their group.

“It’s going to be an unbelievable atmosphere,” Postecoglou predicts.

“The Japanese crowd get right behind their team. They’re a quality side. They’ve got players playing at some of the biggest clubs in the world. It’s a massive challenge. It’s exactly what I wanted when I said yes [to the game]. If I wanted an easy game, I would have picked an opponent to play in Australia. 

“We had a good week of training, so I think we’ll compete well, we’ll perform well. Coming out of it, when we get to Australia, the conditions are in our favour, the crowds are in our favour, the players will get confidence from the fact they’ve had a pretty hard road to get there.

“Japan were impressive against Honduras. It’s an interesting scenario for them because they’ve had scratchy results, the coach changed the team a fair bit, but for that game he went back to his tried and tested, his strongest team. Some of the players in there were the ones he was looking to move on.

“I guess that’s the pressure of the job. You have to make those decisions. For us, I want to get to the point where we play against the Japanese and we can match them in footballing terms, in terms of who dominates the game. That’s what we’ll be trying to do on Tuesday night.”