Australia great Stan Lazaridis has called for Socceroos coach Holger Osieck to stop using players out of position at left back and hand the spot permanently to Jason Davidson.
Davidson's debut match for Australia - the 3-1 loss to Scotland on Thursday - was punctuated by his own goal 15 minutes after coming on as a second half substitute.
But Lazaridis, who excelled as a left-sided defender for the majority of his 12-year international career, says the 21-year-old should be given an extended Socceroos run.
Lazaridis said it is time for Osieck to cease deploying players at left back who are unaccustomed to the role.
“In truth, I don’t like seeing players like David Carney, Matt McKay and Michael Zullo playing at left back because it’s not their natural position, and it shows,” Lazaridis said. “We’ve been trying out players who simply aren’t familiar with the role, players who are really midfielders and it’s a real issue.
“I feel that if Jason Davidson continues to feature in a lot of games for his club then he deserves a chance to show what he can do. Not in the future, right now.
“There is always somebody that bursts through around the 18-month mark before a World Cup and maybe Jason could be that someone for us.
“He’s a natural left sided defender and I would certainly like to see him given a go.
"It’s all about positional sense. When you are not used to that role it’s easy to get caught out.
"I love seeing McKay playing for Australia. But I don’t want to see him at left back. The same goes with Zullo and Carney. I feel they are both better going forward than defending.”
Davidson's own goal was described by Osieck as the last in a chain of defensive errors, but Lazaridis insists the fledgling defender will quickly put that behind him.
“I am sure he is a strong-willed young kid and he will move on quickly and put it down to a bitter experience,” Lazaridis said.
“What’s important now is that we all move on because 2014 isn’t far away and Australia needs to get some continuity and understanding at the back.
“When I played alongside Craig Moore, Lucas Neill, or Alex Tobin and Milan Ivanovic or Tony Popovic we had that understanding in the back-line.
“We all knew where we were supposed to be. We were links in a chain which moved together as one.
"You don’t have to have the best players but you need to be a part of a good system. Then it works brilliantly.”
Osieck spoke highly of Davidson and hinted he will be given more opportunities to make the left defence position his own.
“He came on he had some good clearances and then that happened. After that, he was down, and I definitely had to encourage him to keep going. That's not the end of the story for him," Osieck said.
Socceroos captain Lucas Neill also offered his encouragement: “I thought he was looking really good, great confidence on the ball, right position as a defender, just unfortunate about the timing of the header.
“You want to remember your debut but that's certainly one he wants to forget. He has the bloodline, and I'm sure he's mentally a tough guy and he'll bounce back.
“I just told him to keep his head up and keep going and to be fair to him, he did. He wanted to get to the ball and didn't shy away and that's a good sign.
“He was distraught in the changing room which is fair enough though.”
Tommy Oar is aiming to parlay a breakout season for FC Utrecht into a telling contribution for his country as Australia faces its FIFA 2014 World Cup destiny next month.