Tomi Juric in action against Iraq.
Tomi Juric in action against Iraq. ABEDIN TAHERKENAREH

Socceroos stars defend new playing system

FOOTBALL: Socceroos frontman Tomi Juric says players will stick with the new-look system unveiled by coach Ange Postecoglou because they believe it works.

The Aussies set up in a 3-4-2-1 formation in the 1-1 draw with Iraq in Tehran last Thursday and look set to continue with the system in a crucial World Cup qualifying clash with United Arab Emirates at Allianz Stadium in Sydney on Tuesday night.

"Obviously we're disappointed with the result (against Iraq) but just continue believing in what we're doing because he believes we're doing the right thing," Juric said.

"Even though sometimes it might seem like it's a wrong choice, we know it's the right one because he's shown it before and we've shown it together as a group before that it works."

The Socceroos have not had the best preparation for the UAE clash which they need to win to try to keep in touch with the top two - Saudi Arabia and Japan - in the qualifying group for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

Only the top two qualify automatically with the third-place side to move into a playoff with the team finishing third in the other Asian group with the winner of that game playing the fourth-placed team in the Concacaf group.

The three-man backline left gaps which Iraq exploited with their wingers but Robbie Kruse said while getting used to the new system caused a problem or two, it was the fact they could not deal with Iraq's direct approach which was more concerning.

"It was different to what we're used to," Kruse said.

"It worked in a lot of ways but the problem was they were playing route-one football and we lost too much of the aerial battles, and that was what really killed us.

"If you don't win your headers it doesn't matter what system you play, you're always going to struggle.

"They were winning nearly all the flick-ons and that made it difficult for us because we had to track back so far.

"Next game if we play this formation and we're a lot more physical and win those balls it's going to make it a lot easier for us."