Massimo Luongo believes the absence of star Socceroo Tom Rogic could bear a silver lining as they look to get their World Cup qualifying campaign back on track.
Tom Rogic's injury could actually help the Socceroos midfield find much-needed discipline in their stuttering World Cup qualifying campaign, according to Massimo Luongo.
An ankle injury in December ruled the Celtic playmaker out of Thursday's clash against Iraq in Tehran and next week's meeting with the UAE in Sydney.
How coach Ange Postecoglou rejigs his side looms as one of his most intriguing decisions, with a red-hot Aaron Mooy and the recalled James Troisi the leading contenders to replace him.
Australia sit in a somewhat precarious position in Group B after three lacklustre qualifying draws in a row, and Luongo believes Rogic's absence might bear a tactical silver lining given his off-the-cuff style can sometimes leave them exposed.
"Rogic stands out as that out-and-out 10 - he's going to get in that pocket, turn and get shots off or create something," Luongo said.
"It could benefit us, because we're away from home and the boss will probably tell you something different, but it might not hurt to be a bit more disciplined.
"With the players we've got, it could be interesting.
"I don't know how he's going to set up but I think we can all offer a different way of playing in certain formations."
Luongo, 24, is bound for a slightly deeper role after an impressive patch of form for Queens Park Rangers, which included his first goal for the English Championship club on the weekend.
QPR manager Ian Holloway has recently used him as a holding midfielder, which Luongo said has allowed him to showcase a side of his game he believes few recognise.
"Every manager I've had thinks I'm an attacking player, that I can't defend, or I don't want to defend, which is just completely false," he said.
"I've just been in teams where they don't ask me to defend. It's good, I'm clearing that up that I can do both.
"So I've been getting on the ball and making us tick a little bit, or trying to. He says that's where he sees me."
The Socceroos have endured oppressive heat in their last few away qualifiers but Luongo reckons the cold, windy conditions in Tehran should suit the many European-based players in the squad.
"We're used to this. This is us, all day long," he said.
"And I haven't seen the pitch but if it does get a bit scrappy, us compared to Iraq, we're definitely favourites to win a scrap."