Aussie keeper Mat Ryan says Socceroo coach Ange Postecoglou wants the team to have more belief in the system as the players continue adapting to the new era at national team level.
Ryan told FFA TV in Belgium it will take time to adapt to what the coach wants and how the team should approach their football as they prepare for Friday morning's (AEST) clash with Belgium in Liege.
“We had a little review form the World Cup yesterday, just going over different things. (Postecoglou) wants us to have more belief in the system and those sorts of things.
“We all tried to buy into it but it’s not until you get the regular games where you can make mistakes in terms of learning what he really wants from us in every situation.
“You can’t help but think if we had had another 12 months together as a team (before the World Cup) how different things could have been," said Ryan.
But given the way the Socceroos performed at the World Cup, Ryan is confident the side will continue to improve the more time this young squad plays together.
“The progress we’ve been making has been coming in leaps and bounds,” the former Central Coast Mariners man said.
Ryan, who played all three matches at the recent FIFA World Cup in Brazil, has been Ange Postecoglou’s first-choice ‘keeper since he took the reins last year.
The 22-year-old has earned that spot, having been in superb form for club side Club Brugge which saw him take out the Professional Footballers’ Goalkeeper of Year gong in Belgium last season.
But the keeping position is one with a great deal of options for Postecoglou to ponder.
Mitch Langerak is now playing more regularly at Bundesliga giants Borussia Dortmund while forgotten shot-stopper Adam Federici is now first-choice at Reading again.
Hyundai A-League stars Eugene Galekovic and youngster Mark Birighitti are also in the mix after being in the original travelling party that went to Brazil.
“There’s great competition for every spot in the team at the moment,” Ryan said.
“I don’t think any position on the team should be safe at any time in one’s international career. If you’re playing well and you deserve the right to have the spot, that’s the way it should go.
“The likes of Mitch (Langerak) and I see Adam Federici is playing more regularly now, it’s good for them personally and they get to develop also.
“For myself I just focus on coming in here and trying to work hard. Fingers crossed it can be me out there come game time.”
While most of his Socceroos team-mates have flown in from all over the world for the clash with Belgium, this is like a “home” friendly for the young gloveman who plies his trade in the Pro League.
He admits it gives the match an extra-special feeling for him, although he knows it will be tough to get a result against a nation ranked fifth in the world and who were quarter-finalists in Brazil.
“Most of them are playing abroad at some of the biggest clubs around the world,” Ryan said of Marc Wilmots’ Red Devils.
“Their recent performances at the World Cup, the public has mixed reviews on how they went. They made the quarter-finals but they thought they possibly could have performed a bit better.
“I’m sure they will be looking to build on that, as we are also. Anyone playing in their home country expects to get the job done.
“With the likes of the team they have, they are playing in front of their home fans and I’m sure they are expecting the same.”
The Socceroos play Belgium on Thursday 4 September at Stade Maurice Dufrasne, Leige 8.45pm (4.45am AEST) and Saudi Arabia on Monday 8 September at Craven Cottage, London 8.00pm (5am AEST) with both matches to be broadcast LIVE and exclusive on FOX SPORTS.