Returning Caltex Socceroos keeper Mat Ryan was delighted with a clean sheet over the UAE in Tuesday night's World Cup qualifier in Sydney.
Australia ended a tough 10 days with the three points to keep pressure up on Japan and Saudi Arabia for the automatic qualification spots.
And after losing his spot to Mitch Langerak against Iraq last week in Tehran, Ryan was delighted to be back in the starting XI, and stressed the clean sheet against UAE was a reflection of the side’s performance.
“We always say our first defender is our striker and our first attacker is the goalkeeper.
“We’re a team unit so it’s a credit to the whole team that we walk away with a clean sheet tonight.
“The guys in front of me did a great job to limit the number of chances they had," Ryan, on loan from Valencia to Genk, told reporters.
BACK BETWEEN THE STICKS
First choice keeper for much of the Caltex Socceroos qualification campaign, Ryan found himself on the bench in place of Langerak against Iraq and insists it was handled professionally between the keepers.
“It’s not pleasant when you don’t play on a personal note but he’s the boss at the end of the day, he makes the decisions and obviously I was disappointed personally but you’ve got to put that behind you,” Ryan said.
“I don’t think my style or type of game differed from any other game.
"My job was the same, to obviously keep the ball out of the back of the net and offer a bit of help to the defence.
“We’ve got a professional relationship me and Mitch. We try our best to help one another and help the team. I don’t think you’ll achieve much by making a problem.
“The best man for the job will win the position in every game that we’re playing.”
A CLEARER PATH TO RUSSIA
The victory against the UAE has kept the Caltex Socceroos hopes of qualification in their own hands.
With two of their three games remaining to be played at home, Ryan feels the side is on the right road to qualifying for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
“In house we’re confident in our position…we’re still undefeated," added Ryan.
“In a perfect world you want to win every game but the world isn’t so generous like that but that’s what we strive for and we still believe in house that we’re in a very good position for Russia.
“We don’t buy into all this stuff in the media saying that we’re struggling. We’re focused on what our objectives are as a team and slowly ticking them off.
“We need to make Australia a fortress playing here at home and we’ve done that so far.”