Ryan leaning on previous experience to ensure Socceroos reach Qatar 2022
Lessons learned on the tumultuous road to the FIFA World Cup in Russia in 2018 will hold the Socceroos in good stead as they look to navigate their way to Qatar next year.
That's the opinion of skipper Mat Ryan after Australia fell to third on the Group B standings following Wednesday morning's (AEDT) disappointing 1-1 draw with China in the UAE.
If Graham Arnold's troops can't leapfrog either Japan or Saudi Arabia over the last four qualifying matches in the New Year, they will be thrust into a play-off against the third-place team from Group A, followed by an intercontinental play-off.
It's a scenario Ryan and many of the current squad know all about having had to endure a similar path to book their ticket to Russia three years ago.
After finishing third in their group, the Socceroos overcame both Syria and Honduras in home-and-away ties to qualify for a fourth consecutive World Cup.
"The qualifying campaign I've been a part of to get to Russia, we had results like Iraq away and Thailand away with a draw that were disappointing as well," Ryan said.
It's all part of it, you're wanting to try and get to the World Cup, that's the big prize, and everyone's giving all that they can take to try and get there.
"Obviously at this international level it's the little details, the little moments that decide those sorts of things and unfortunately tonight they didn't go our way. But the momentum's a funny thing.
"We had that winning run where a lot of things went our way, and now we have had a couple a couple of times where it hasn't gone our way."
"But it's on us to change that around again, and I have full confidence we can do that moving forward."
It was a shattered Socceroos changeroom following the match having felt like they squandered an excellent opportunity to consolidate a top-two spot in the group.
Mitchell Duke's first-half goal was a reward for a dominant first-half showing but having failed to capitalise on their momentum, China hit back midway through the second half via a contentious penalty.
"It was disappointing, I don't think we did enough…didn't create enough clear-cut chances," Ryan conceded.
"Obviously there's probably a controversial talking point but there's other moments where we need to be better if we want to take away a result, but we weren't able to do that.
"It's important that we learn from what unfolded and why we weren't able get the win and we carry on moving forward.
"It's still very much in our hands…It says a lot about our mentality with how disappointed we all are with the point."
Ryan said the onus was now on the players to go back to their clubs and perform before reassembling in January for must-win matches against Vietnam and Oman.
"We still have a winning mentality but it's all about the response now," the Real Sociedad gloveman said.
Champion teams respond in the best possible way and so the focus is on that."