Socceroos striker Tim Cahill is keen to remind anxious fans the national team has dug itself out of bigger holes than the one they currently find themselves in.
Source:
AAP
26 Mar 2017 - 12:48 PM  UPDATED 26 Mar 2017 - 1:49 PM

Tim Cahill has a message to any Socceroos fans fearing the national team is set to miss out on the World Cup.

Relax.

Australia face United Arab Emirates in Sydney on Tuesday off the back of four successive draws, putting the Socceroos one place below an automatic qualifying spot for the 2018 tournament.

It's certainly not where the Asian champions would like to be.

But it's not a disaster according to Cahill - especially when you consider Australia's incredible record in home qualifiers.

The all-time leading Socceroos scorer has been around for long enough that he can remember worse positions - and he's not about to get nervous.

"It was the same situation leading into the Asian Cup. We went months and months without winning a game," he said.

Cahill's memory is spot on; the Socceroos won just one of 11 matches during 2014 leading into the 2015 Asian Cup but prevailed in the tournament.

Australia is also in a better position than they were at this stage of qualifying four years ago.

With four qualifiers remaining on the road to Brazil, Holger Osieck's side had won just one match of four before reaching the tournament with two late wins.

"I understand the process a bit better than some people. I'm a lot more educated as a player and as a person," Cahill said.

"I'm quite calm. We're undefeated.

"I won't be flinching much now."

The Socceroos also have an extraordinary home record.

It's been nine years and 17 matches since Australia's last qualifying loss on home soil.

And that was just a 1-0 loss to China in a dead rubber when Pim Verbeek fielded a understrength team.

That's the Socceroos' sole loss in 56 home qualifiers dating back to 1981.

Cahill said it was another reason to be confident; without being complacent.

"The way we play and the damage we've caused teams in the past ... we're really going to put them under a lot of pressure," he said.

"It's a very intimidating place for them to come. It will be difficult for them and that's life.

"(But the home record) means nothing. All that matters is this week."

Cahill scored the winner in the reverse fixture in Abu Dhabi last September, climbing from the bench to net a late volley.

The 37-year-old has been kept to bench duties by Ange Postecoglou in this phase of qualifying, with Tomi Juric preferred as starting striker, but Cahill said he was "always available" should the national team coach want to switch it up.

"When asked, I'm always ready to contribute," he said.

"The boss knows what's right for us."

AUSTRALIA'S HOME COMFORTS

* One loss in 56 home World Cup qualifiers since 1981

* Last loss: Australia 0-1 China in Sydney since 22 June 2008

* In 17 home qualifiers since, the Socceroos have won 14 and drawn three (twice v Japan, once v Oman)