Schwarzer calls on experienced players to step up

Decisive... eight days in camp could be crucial to success against Oman says Mark Schwarzer (Getty)

Australia goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer has called on the experienced players in the Socceroos squad to get its World Cup qualifying campaign back on track against Iraq.

Holger Osieck's side is currently third in Group B with only the top two sides guaranteed a place in Brazil in two years' time.

And with Japan having already established a six-point lead at the top, it is increasingly looking like a four-way fight to grab second spot.

The trip to Doha is, therefore, crucial and 40-year-old Schwarzer accepts the old heads in the camp need to do more to ensure a better display to that which saw them lose 2-1 to Jordan in its last qualifier.

He said: "We talked about it at the beginning of the week and also at various points throughout the week (about) how important it is for the older players to step up and not only lift their own performances but also to demand it from the rest of the players in the side as well.

"I think it has been pretty evident on the training field already."

Schwarzer admitted he was livid in the immediate aftermath of the Jordan game and made his feelings known to his team-mates.

"I won't go into any specifics about what was said because I think what was said in the change rooms has to stay in the change rooms, but obviously I wasn't happy and I made sure that everyone was aware of that, that I wasn't happy but also that they shouldn't be happy," he said.

Australia hold a 2-1 record against an Iraq side currently ranked 80th in the world.

However, Schwarzer is confident its preparation will stand them in good stead.

"It's always been a concern when you don't have a lot of time to prepare for the games," he said.

"This is completely the opposite. We are having a good week to really do a lot of football work on the football pitch.

"It's been a luxury that we've not had previously and I think, hopefully, it is going to work to our benefit."

The other game in the pool sees Jordan visit Oman.

Jordan has four points, two more than Australia, Iraq and Oman.

It has mixed news on the selection front with strikers Abdullah Deeb and Tha'er Bawab available but goalkeeper Amer Shafi and defender Basem Fathi out through suspension.

South Korea can take a significant step towards qualification from Group A with victory in Iran.

Choi Kang-hee's men hold a three-point lead at the top but he expects a tough encounter in Tehran with second-placed Iran looking strong.

Choi told the Yonhap news agency: "I expect them to come out attacking against us, and we're all too familiar with their style of play.

"We just have to capitalise on our strengths and be 100 per cent ready for this game.

"If we can win this game, it will make the rest of the qualifying process so much easier.

"If things go wrong, we could end up chasing other countries next year."

The visitor is likely to pair in-form Hamburg striker Son Heung-min with on-loan Celta Vigo man Park Chu-young in attack.

Qatar and Uzbekistan remain in contention although both need a win when they meet at the Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium.

Source PA Sport