• Mathew Leckie in action against Iraq (AAP)
Mathew Leckie points out there's more to his game than scoring goals as he readies for another potential 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying start against the United Arab Emirates.
Source:
AAP
26 Mar 2017 - 7:53 AM  UPDATED 26 Mar 2017 - 7:53 AM

Often criticised for his paltry Australia goal tally, the German-based winger's less-obvious contributions have not always drawn a volume of praise to match coach Ange Postecoglou's avid deployment.

Little surprise then that Leckie felt a mix of relief and satisfaction when his head connected deftly with Aaron Mooy's corner in Tehran.

The 39th-minute effort was not just the opener in Thursday's 1-1 World Cup qualifier against Iraq, but also the 26-year-old's fourth international goal on his 38th appearance.

Yet as he readies for another potential start in Tuesday's must-win clash with the United Arab Emirates in Sydney, he pointed out there were other worthy facets to his game.

Milligan admits Socceroos 'must win at home' against UAE
Australia utility man Mark Milligan is out to fix the leaks that stymied the Socceroos' hopes of three points in their 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Iraq.
Langerak admits surprise at Socceroos call
Mitch Langerak is unsure if he's unseated Mat Ryan as Australia's first-choice goalkeeper but admits his call-up to face Iraq came as a surprise.

"I'm happy on a personal level (to score) because it's been a while now and it gives me a bit of confidence, but ultimately the result's the most important," Leckie said.

"Obviously from an outsider's perspective attackers need to be scoring, defenders need to be defending. That is, in a way, right.

"But for the style of play we play, the wingers are doing a lot of work in a physical sense and trying to supply the No.9 and the front midfielders as well who are getting into the box.

"I would like to score more and if I get the opportunity, I have to take them and be clinical.

"But I don't think it was worrying me too much."

Irvine bittersweet on first Socceroos start
Jackson Irvine says he has mixed feelings about his Socceroos starting debut despite being one of the best players on the park in Thursday's 1-1 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying draw with Iraq.
Socceroos player ratings against Iraq
How each Socceroos player fared in Thursday's World Cup qualifier with Iraq in Tehran.

Despite its obvious implementation issues against Iraq, Leckie was positive about Postecoglou's brand new 3-2-4-1 formation they learned on two days' notice.

Under the system, he and Robbie Kruse's wide roles were not supposed to carry much defensive responsibility.

Yet the manner in which Iraq repeatedly exposed Australia's flanks indicates the pair will need to provide cover against the United Arab Emirates at Allianz Stadium.

"It's based on trying to stay wide and opening up the game for the guys in the middle and work back if needed," he said.

"It was alright. I play, at times, defensive for my club and I'm not afraid to go in hard.

"So I think both situations I was able to be defensive and offensive."

Socceroos bullied off the ball admits Jedinak
Mile Jedinak admits the Socceroos lost the physical battle against Iraq in their tense 1-1 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying draw in Tehran.
Socceroos' World Cup qualifying state of play
This is where things sit for the Socceroos on the road to Russia 2018 after Thursday night's 1-1 draw against Iraq in Tehran.

Leckie is currently the only Australia international getting regular minutes at the top of Europe, playing for Bundesliga battlers Ingolstadt.

Kruse's move to China and Milos Degenek's shift to Japan has left Leckie and Mitch Langerak (Stuttgart) as the lone rangers in Germany.

"All the boys have left me," Leckie said.

"Obviously Robbie made the move, Milos was also around the corner from me.

"But I think I'm enjoying myself now in Germany although the club's not in the best position at the moment we're still playing well."

Postecoglou's Socceroos gamble backfires
ANALYSIS: Australia's stuttering campaign to reach the 2018 FIFA World Cup is slipping out of their hands and is now in the lap of the gods.
Socceroos struggle to fourth successive World Cup qualifying draw
The Socceroos have escaped with a nerve-wracking 1-1 draw against Iraq amid dreadful conditions in Tehran to leave their 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification hopes in the balance.