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Australia skipper Neill focused on getting points required

Lucas Neill is well aware that it is points and not performances that allow teams to qualify for World Cups. On Wednesday morning, Australia produced a top drawer performance to beat Saudi Arabia 3-1 in tough conditions in Dammam following a disappointing showing in the 2-1 victory over Thailand in Brisbane on Friday.

Al Jazira new boy Neill knows it was a rapid improvement but is not getting carried away with it as there is still plenty more hard work to come for the Socceroos.

"We've just got to concentrate now on winning our next two games and the next one is in Sydney against Oman so hopefully they're low on confidence and we put in another good performance with another win," he said after the match in which Josh Kennedy scored twice and Luke Wilshire converted a penalty.

"Look performances are one thing, but points are what matters and gets us to the World Cup.

"(Two wins from two is a ) great start - disappointing performance the other day.

"It was very professional tonight. You're not going to see it on TV but it's extremely hot.

"I thought we were extremely convincing and stuck to a good gameplan and it worked."

He added: "I think we put too much emphasis on starting the game last week and forgot to actually start.

"This time we took a step back and played ourselves into the game. Everything went really well, everything went to plan.

"Sticky ten minutes in the second half, sloppy defending after a firecracker went off, we switched off and made a schoolboy error [to give away the penalty].

"But three goals away from home against arguably the second favourites in the group, we are now in a strong, strong position to finish on top."

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Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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