Socceroos goalkeeper Mat Ryan.
Socceroos goalkeeper Mat Ryan. SUPPLIED

Goalkeeper Ryan key to Postecoglou's likely formation

SOCCEROOS' No. 1 gloveman Mat Ryan is the key to fortifying coach Ange Postecoglou's 3-4-3 formation - if the boss uses the tactic against Saudi Arabia on Thursday at Adelaide Oval.

Postecoglou, who unveiled the formation during the Socceroos two FIFA World Cup qualifiers in March where Australia earned four points, last week hinted that he would stick to the 3-4-3 which requires extreme discipline from the three stoppers, wing backs and the goalkeeper.

Ryan was benched when Australia drew 1-1 with Iraq in Iran before reclaiming the No. 1 spot before the Socceroos beat the United Arab Emirates 2-0 in Sydney.

"We were introduced to that (3-4-3) system in the last camp (in March)," said Ryan, who plays for Genk of Belgium.

"And you know the bosses and the coaching staff have been planning for a long time and getting the team into situations and a position where we can be competitive at the highest level and he (Postecoglou) thought it was the right time to introduce this system.

"They put plenty of thought into it in the last camp.

"We didn't get the result we were hoping for in the first game but in the second game we got a nice positive result and all the boys are buying into it.

"Thursday will be another opportunity we haven't gone much into the tactical side of the game just yet but I imagine we're going to be sticking with that if that's what the coaching staff believe is the best system is to get the job done."

Ryan, 25, is expected to retain the No. 1 spot for Thursday's clash given he can act confidently as the first player to launch an attack through his neat footwork.

He can also act as a keeper/sweeper which will come in handy if the Saudis happen to break the high Socceroos defensive line which will be in place in a bid to force the visitors into turnovers.

"It's like anything when it's new (formation) to us the more times you put it into practice the clearer the roles become and everyone know want we want from them," Ryan said.

"The more comfortable we get with it the more progress we're all going to be making."

News Corp Australia

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