Postecoglou not focused on consequences ahead of crucial qualifier

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Australia coach Ange Postecoglou insists his team's focus is far from the consequences of a loss to Saudi Arabia in World Cup qualifying.

The Socceroos host the Group B clash in Adelaide on Thursday needing a win to boost their chances of a top-two finish and place at Russia 2018.

Postecoglou's men are third in the group - three points adrift of their opponents and leaders Japan - with three matches remaining.

Failing to win at Adelaide Oval would be a huge blow to the Socceroos' chances of automatic qualification, but Postecoglou said his team were still well-placed.

"It's certainly not our focus. The feeling coming into the camp has been very positive as it has been all along," he told a news conference.

"We kind of knew the back half of this year was the time we need to be at our best and we wanted to be in a position where our fate's in our own hands and that's exactly where we're at.

"We know if we finish the qualification period off strongly, we'll achieve the objective.

"Overall, for us, every time we come together we see progress and that's the key thing for me."

While Postecoglou gave little team news away, the versatile Mark Milligan is out through suspension and Ryan McGowan is unlikely to start after flight delays led to his late arrival in camp.

The 51-year-old coach said he expected the visitors to take a defensive approach, highlighting it had been opposition sides' preference against the Socceroos throughout the campaign.

"What we've found is irrelevant of who we play in recent times they've tended to sit back against us. Japan did it against us in Melbourne earlier in the qualifying campaign," Postecoglou said.

"I think it's recognition from the opposition that the way we play our football they've got no choice but to sit back.

"I don't think that's because of the position or the consequences, I think regardless that's what they have to do to try and stop us and that's what we're expecting.

"But from our perspective it's about our growth and our ability to dominate games of football against all types of opposition and under any circumstances and tomorrow will be another challenge in that area and certainly our focus will be on making sure we dominate possession and we play the game in the opposition half."