Skipper feels Socceroos are making progress despite failing to win in their first two East Asian Cup games.
Australia captain Mark Milligan feels the Socceroos performance against Japan was much improved despite a 3-2 defeat.
Holger Osieck’s side were comprehensively outplayed in their opening match of the East Asian Cup against hosts South Korea but managed to escape from Seoul with a point following a goalless draw.
However they came undone in their second fixture against the Samurai Blue at Hwaseong Sports Complex with a late goal meaning they will need to beat China in their final game to stand a chance of making it onto the podium.
But skipper Milligan insists they showed commendable fighting spirit to come from two goals down to level the game before conceding in the latter stages and praised Osieck for his tactical adjustments.
“I thought we did well, especially in the second half,” he said to Sportal. “We played a slightly different game, especially in the pressing sense. We tried to press a lot higher.
“It came together a bit in the second half, we played some good football in patches and all the substitutes that came on I thought were outstanding tonight.
“It’s been a tough couple of games for us physically and mentally. We dug deep in the second half, not just physically. We still tried to play a little bit without resorting to any silly stuff and we got our rewards for it.
“Unfortunately we got a little bit eager in conceding that third goal but there were a lot of positives to take from it.”
Australia will conclude their East Asian Cup campaign against China at the Seoul Olympic Stadium on Sunday.