KEEPING defensive shape and maintaining possession has been the focus for Australia ahead of their friendly against France, according to Tommy Oar and David Carney.
Both aspects were a huge problem in the Socceroos' last outing, a 6-0 thrashing at the hands of Brazil on September 7.
Holger Osieck is under pressure to keep his job despite leading Australia to Brazil 2014 and facing France in Paris on Friday shapes as another massive challenge for his side.
Oar, who is likely to be fit despite a back injury, said the focus at training had been on defending and possession.
"Obviously defensively we got caught out a lot but I think our main problem was with possession," the 21-year-old Utrecht attacker said.
"If you can't keep the ball then you're going to be under a lot of pressure when you're (facing) teams of that quality.
"We've been working on it at training this week to try and keep possession as much as we can and keep our shape.
"If we can manage to do that in the game, it'll be a much-improved performance and hopefully we can create some opportunities and get a few goals and see what happens."
Oar said the clash at Parc des Princes was a chance for Australia to prove they will belong among the world's best teams in Brazil next year.
"We've had a lot of critics since the last game," he said.
"The whole team and everybody's under a lot of pressure to perform so I guess there's no bigger stage or better place to do it than playing a team like France in Paris."
New York Red Bulls left-back Carney, back with the Socceroos and potentially in line for his first international appearance since September last year, echoed Oar's thoughts.
He said it was important Australia regained confidence during matches against France and Canada, who they face in London on Tuesday.
"You've got to be at it otherwise you can get punished," Carney said.
"That's what we're working on at the minute – keeping our shape and obviously playing possession football and being confident and getting the confidence back in the team, especially after the last game.
"Hopefully we can turn it around."