Australia coach Holger Osieck believes his side's World Cup ambitions - helped greatly by the win over Jordan - have come due to the consistency of his starting XI
Australia coach Holger Osieck believes consistency is the reason for his team's return to form, comparing the Socceroos' improved performances to their run to the 2011 Asian Cup final.
Osieck's men made it four points from two AFC World Cup qualifying matches courtesy of their 4-0 romp over Jordan in Melbourne on Tuesday, having eked out a determined draw in Saitama against Japan a week earlier.
The results have moved the Socceroos into a strong position to automatically qualify for Brazil in 2014, with a win over Iraq next Tuesday enough to seal their place.
Osieck placed his trust in the same XI against both Japan and Jordan, and he said the 4-0 result against the latter had justified his decision.
"I was convinced that the XI that started in Japan were at that moment the best we have right now, and their performance proved me right," he said.
"And tonight, we saw again the proof for it.
"I think we have to consider one thing when we review the other games… We never, in the entire campaign, started the same XI in consecutive games.
"… Right now, I'm in the very fortunate position that I don't have to worry about that."
The Socceroos have been roundly criticised for an unconvincing qualification campaign that had featured just one win in six matches prior to the victory over Jordan.
But Osieck believes that lack of consistency had hurt his side, and that the 2011 Asian Cup - at which Australia reached the final - was evidence of what sort of results the Socceroos could produce with the benefit of stability.
"They grow together now as a team, and the only thing I can refer to is when we played in the Asian Cup," he said.
"We had consistency there because we work together over a longer period."
Osieck was reluctant to openly praise any players, stressing his side had not "crossed the finish line".
He even found faults in the performance of man-of-the-match winger Robbie Kruse, who scored once and provided assists for both Tim Cahill and Mark Bresciano to find the back of the net.
"You probably saw me talking to him on the sideline. There were some elements that I didn’t like. Maybe you saw it differently," Osieck said.
"He knows how I assess his performance.
"… I don’t want to go into details, but a game is not just a running forward."