SOCCEROO Robbie Kruse says Australia's upcoming World Cup Qualifier against Jordan is a must-win encounter, and is bracing for a stern test.
The Socceroos have made a winless start to the final phase of qualifying in Group B of the Asian Football Confederation after draws against Oman and Japan.
Holger Osieck's men are five points adrift of pacesetters Japan and Kruse is well aware of what is at stake at King Abdullah International Stadium on September 11.
"The public tends to think they are easy games because the nations aren't so highly ranked or anything like that," he said.
"But it's tough. The conditions are always hard, the travel and to adapt to the field and the referees is always difficult. We are under no illusions that it's going to be tough.
"We need to get the three points because it's getting close to the point now where we have two draws from the first two games, it's vital for us to win the next one."
At club level, Kruse has enjoyed a promising start to the Bundesliga season with newly-promoted Fortuna Dusseldorf.
The German side are unbeaten in their opening two games, which included a 2-0 win at Augsburg.
Kruse played a part in both of Dani Schahin's goals in that triumph and the former Melbourne Victory striker is hopeful his performances for Dusseldorf will lead to an extended run in the Australian side.
"I've got 19 caps now and I want to start cementing my spot as a starting player," the 23-year-old said.
"Hopefully now I'm playing in the Bundesliga, it puts me in good stead with the national team.
"I want to play in the next two games but the boss has his plans and whatever he decides to choose I'll adapt to."
Meanwhile Mile Jedinak says Friday's early morning friendly against Lebanon offers Australia the perfect opportunity to build momentum ahead of their trip to Jordan.
Australia have failed to win in their last four matches, losing two and drawing two against the likes of Scotland and Denmark.
And Jedinak, who has been given the Crystal Palace captain's armband in the absence of Paddy McCarthy, believes the fixture acts as ideal preparation.
"Look it's a good hit out just before we play the crunch game against Jordan," he said.
"We're under no illusions that Jordan is the main game, the key game for us and the one where the points are at stake.
"But having a hit out against Lebanon is going to be just as important and getting the understanding with each other and trying a few different things, not only in the game but also in training throughout the week in preparation for that game against Jordan."