Caltex Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou is "a lot more satisfied" with his full-back options after watching Australia's past two games against England and Greece.
Heading into this international period, Postecoglou had used eight different players in the full-back positions with no individual playing more than three times in those eight matches.
Josh Risdon and Brad Smith started against England in Sunderland, while the latter also played against Greece on Saturday, with Jason Geria making his senior international debut at right-back.
Alex Gersbach also made his Socceroos bow off the bench in Sydney, and Postecoglou clearly believes he's honing in on some solid options to play out wide in defence.
"In terms of the full-back positions, there's certainly encouragement there. I think we're getting more depth," he said on Monday.
"I think the players we've introduced in the last couple of camps, I think they've really shown that they understand how we want to play our football and certainly have looked comfortable within the environment.
"So I'm certainly a lot more satisfied with those areas of the park than I probably was six months ago."
While Australia's performances in a 2-1 loss to England and a 1-0 win over Greece have underlined the Socceroos' growing competitiveness at the highest levels of international football, Postecoglou insists his job is far from over with the 2018 World Cup the long-term goal.
The 50-year-old coach has continuously argued that the Socceroos shouldn't be content with simply qualifying for World Cups anymore.
Postecoglou wants to make a genuine impact at Russia 2018.
"We don't want to just compete against the best, we want to beat the best, and if we're going to do that we need to keep improving," he said.
Postecoglou added: "We're a stronger team today than we were when we won the Asian Cup, so we have to be stronger in two years' time because the game evolves and that's our constant mantra - we want to be better every time we play."
Aussies Abroad: Red-hot Taggart hits seven in seven, Smith's Seattle score big win
K-League top goalscorer Adam Taggart was on target again as high-flying Suwon Bluewings sunk Sangju Sangmu 2-0. The Caltex Socceroos striker has hit scorching form, scoring seven goals in seven games, to fire his Korea Republic club into finals contention. Featured image co
Aussies Abroad: Mabil helps FC Midtjylland to winning start
Awer Mabil?s 2019/20 season got off to a winning start as a late FC Midtjylland winner downed Esbjerg FB 1-0. Mikael Anderson struck as the clock ticked past 90 minutes to ensure the Wolves kicked off the new Danish Superliga campaign with three points. Feature image courte
Danish Superliga preview: Mabil and Midtjylland chasing title, Amini and Gersbach join forces at AGF
Awer Mabil?s explosive trickery and Mustafa Amini?s industrious midfield craft are on regular display in the Danish Superliga these days. That?s just two reasons why Caltex Socceroos fans should have both eyes fixed on one of Scandinavia?s top divisions this season.
Where to watch your Caltex Socceroos this weekend
Caltex Socceroos winger Awer Mabil will again be one of FC Midtjylland?s key attacking weapons as the new Danish Superliga season gets underway this weekend. Mabil ? who scored six goals in 30 appearances for Midtjylland last season ? is set to start in Saturday morning?s (AES