The uncertainty over Ange Postecoglou's tenure as Socceroos' coach has followed the team to Honduras but the players remain unfazed by the media circus that's hovered for weeks.
Despite four previous attempts to do so, Postecoglou ensured the debate around his future with the national team will remain a hot topic ahead of their first leg of qualification in San Pedro Sula against Honduras. However, Australia defender Trent Sainsbury says that discussions are louder back home than inside of the team hotel, as the players have done their best to ignore the hysteria their coach has allowed to continue.
The focus of the team remains on qualifying for a fourth World Cup, rather than who will be their coach in Russia should they reach the tournament.
The China-based defender was philosophical when asked about the potential distraction caused by the uncertainty over the head coach of Australia, suggesting that position will change over time while remaining adamant the players' focus hasn't been derailed.
"At the end of the day I think I'm focused on getting us to that World Cup and doing it in the style that we've progressed under for the last few years, I'm not really worried about everything that's going on in the media and with Ange," Sainsbury said.
"The boys are just focused on these two games and that's the main priority for us, not who's going to be the coach in the future because nobody is every going to be the coach for the entirety of your career."
The Socceroos will face Honduras without at least three key players with Mark Milligan and Matthew Leckie suspended, Robbie Kruse injured while Tim Cahill remains in doubt due to an ankle injury.
It leaves a void of experience in the intimidating venue of Estadio Olimpico but Sainsbury believes there remains enough leadership on the park, especially with the impending return of captain Mile Jedinak.
"I think we've got a really strong leadership base at the moment," Sainsbury said. "It's a loss for us but at the same time we've got a lot of other boys who've been around for a long time now, been in the camp and involved for a long time and can step up and fill the void."
For the first time in a year, the 25-year-old centre-back enters a World Cup qualifier in considerable match fitness and form having played the last three successive games for Chinese club Jiangsu Suning.
Despite being on the bench for the most part of 2017 whether it be at Inter Milan or in China, Sainsbury continued to justify his selection for the Socceroos with consistent performances in the heart of defence.
A January move is looming as a possibility for the defender but Sainsbury launched a stinging barb at his club, suggesting they made an error in sending him out on loan to Inter Milan earlier this year and not offering him consistent game time upon his return.
"I returned back to the club and played five games for them and we got 10 points so that's saying something about what I can bring to the squad. I think the coach has seen that now and hopefully they don't screw up again and make the wrong decision and send me off," he said.
Sainsbury has one year left on his deal in China but has come on the radar of clubs from abroad, including Europe. When asked if there was interest from Italian clubs, he hinted there was, but "nothing concrete".