Ryan defends tough-tackling Socceroos

Goalkeeper Mat Ryan has defended the Socceroos tough tackling style which earned the ire of several Belgian players in their recent friendly match.

Belgium won the game 2-0 in Liege on Thursday, but the Socceroos dished out some hard-nosed challenges and gave away numerous free kicks in dangerous positions.

Ryan told FourFourTwo that the uncompromising tackling was not part of any Socceroo game plan.

“Part of our game plan is to have no fear,” Ryan said.

“Tackles etcetera are never spoken about as a topic but we don't want to take a backward step. So (it’s) just one of those things that happen in a contact sport.”

The Socceroos have not won a game since the 1-0 defeat of Costa Rica in November, Ange Postecoglou’s first match in charge of the national team, and Ryan said he was disappointed with the result against the Belgians.

“Too many instances where we turned the ball over too easily and at that level you get punished,” he said.

“(After the game Ange) didn't question our effort he just thought we all could of done more.”

Ryan was playing on familiar soil in Liege, as the keeper plays his club football nearby for Club Brugge.

“It was great to play in my home away from home,” he said.

“The support I received from the public was great. A few Belgians said they'd support Australia which was nice of them.”

The 2-0 friendly loss was arguably Ryan’s best performance for Australia.

The Socceroos take on Saudi Arabia at Craven Cottage on Tuesday morning (AEST) and a victory against the Asian side is much-needed as the preparations for the Asian Cup are ramped up.

“We win and lose as a team so I'm disappointed also,” the 23-year old said of the Socceroos’ recent run.

“I was happy with a few actions of mine in the game but there’s always areas you can do better.

“For (the Saudi) game I think we will want to be more precise with our game plan. Be better with our decisions and technical attributes. Build on the performance from the Belgium game.”