• Australia's Jackson Irvine heads home the ball to score against the United Arab Emirates. (AFP)
He'd like the Socceroos to score more from open play but captain Mile Jedinak says the team's dead-ball work has been delivering.
29 Mar 2017 - 8:00 AM  UPDATED 29 Mar 2017 - 8:00 AM

Many have criticised the Socceroos for lacking attacking potency but skipper Mile Jedinak would rather call the predicament a set-piece revival.

It's been five games since the Socceroos last scored in open play, when Tomi Juric found the net against Saudi Arabia in October.

That it took two corners to get the job done against UAE on Tuesday night to rescue Australia's World Cup qualification campaign did little to quell doubts about the team's creativity.

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But after Jackson Irvine and Mathew Leckie buried their powerful headers at Allianz Stadium, Jedinak said it was proof the Socceroos' dead-ball work is delivering.

"I'd be lying to say that we wouldn't like a few more in open play," Jedinak said.

"But we also know we can expose the teams in our group from set plays.

"It's by design, it's what we do. It really isn't a coincidence.

"We put a lot of time and effort into it and they do a lot of research on corners and free-kicks against for the opposition."

Despite external pressures, Jedinak never questioned a swift rebound from last week's disappointing 1-1 draw against Iraq in Tehran.

After the shaky introduction of Ange Postecoglou's new 3-2-4-1 formation, the squad and coaching staff pored over video analysis to right what had gone wrong.

The result was a more organised performance, although vulnerable gaps either side of the three-man defence remain.

Widemen Leckie and Brad Smith also appeared uncertain as to whether they were operating as wingbacks or wingers.

"There was a big difference from the game in Iran," Aston Villa man Jedinak said.

"Everybody just felt a little bit more comfortable, and the understanding of what was asked of us was nailed down really well.

"You could just tell coming off the training pitch yesterday that everyone was a lot more comfortable and we would make it right."

Japan and Saudi Arabia march on with easy wins
Japan has tightened their grip at the top of Asia World Cup qualifying Group B with a 4-0 win over Thailand in Saitama, while a win for Saudi Arabia has left the Socceroos with plenty to play for.

The focus now shifts to June, when the third-placed Socceroos play Saudi Arabia at Adelaide Oval in a game they must win to continue the push for an automatic qualification spot as one of Group B's top two.

They then travel to Japan in August before finishing against Thailand back at home in September.

"We've still got to play those two teams (Saudi and Japan), obviously one being at home, one being away," Jedinak said.

"But we control our own destiny and we'll be thinking like that going forward.

"Saudi are in some form but we'll back ourselves all the way until the end."