Caltex Socceroo doing the hard yards at QPR

Ahead of the Caltex Socceroos' clash with Iraq, midfielder Massimo Luongo has revealed how he rediscovered a forgotten ability during pre-season with Queens Park Rangers.

Luongo has played every minute of QPR's Championship campaign so far, with the 23-year-old anchoring the midfield alongside Karl Henry in Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink's 4-4-1-1 formation.

It is a slightly different position than Socceroos fans would be used to seeing Luongo in - the Sydney-born midfielder has made his name under Ange Postecoglou as a playmaker.

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But it could be a good long-term option for Luongo.

"I'm playing a bit of a deeper role with this manager, so he stressed to me that he wants me to work hard for the team and work on my defensive duties and stuff like that," Luongo told Goal Australia.

"So I have been and I think it's fitting with me nicely."

After starting 12 of QPR's opening 14 Championship matches in 2015-16 under Neil Warnock, the arrival of Hasselbaink in December saw Luongo fail to start in seven straight games.

The former Dutch striker moved Luongo around the pitch for the rest of the season but in pre-season the Australian convinced himself and Hasselbaink that he could be a permanent fixture as a holding midfielder.

"When I was at Spurs they sort of brought me in as a holding midfielder," Luongo said.

"I used to break up a lot of play and stuff like that, and for a long time I haven't done it and to be fair, this manager didn't really know that I could do it. So that's why I wasn't playing at the latter stage of last season.

"So I just had to work at it at training and show him that I could do it, and then I sort of reminded myself that I used to do that quite often as a youngster.

"I needed that little bit of reminding but I'm quite happy doing that side of the game, and then obviously I don't neglect the other side on the ball as well but I've got to find a balance where I can do both."

Massimo Luongo on the ball against Japan during a 2014 friendly.

While QPR have had a mixed start to the season - two wins and two losses in the league - Luongo is convinced Hasselbaink is getting the London-based club in a position to push for promotion.

"I think pre-season clarified what he [Hasselbaink] wanted and how he wanted to go about this season, what he wanted to do with the club," the former APIA Leichhardt junior said.

"He came in halfway through last season and it's hard for any manager to come in and impose what he wants with players who have been here for years doing one way and then they have to change for him. So it's probably over the pre-season that he got that message across to all the players and stuff like that, which made it a lot easier going into the season.

"I know we've had two losses and two wins but we're making a personality, a QPR style."