Alex Wilkinson ready to make Australia centre-back spot his own

Alex Wilkinson will use his surprise call-up for the Socceroos' vital World Cup qualifiers against Tajikistan and Jordan to try and lock up a position he was initially overlooked for.

Wilkinson was called into the Australian set-up on Tuesday by coach Ange Postecoglou after first-choice centre-back Matthew Spiranovic withdrew due to a calf complaint.

The 31-year-old admitted he thought the chance to add to his 16 caps in the two home matches had passed him by.

"I was a bit disappointed not be called up into the initial squad," Wilkinson told AAP. "They said we're looking at a few different options.

"I was focused on playing well for Melbourne City and hopefully getting a call-up to the next camp (but) it's great to be involved now."

Spiranovic's injury came on the weekend as he prepared to captain his Chinese Super League club Hangzhou Greentown.

The 27-year-old suffered a minor strain in the warm-up and Postecoglou judged it serious enough not to risk the travel.

"It is best that he stays in China to get the injury right," he said.

"One of the advantages of creating depth in this squad over the last two years is the ability to not have to take risks with players who have an injury.

"We will not lose anything by having Alex come into the squad for these two crucial matches."

Wilkinson, who has five starts for Melbourne City since a midseason move to the A-League, said he was up to the challenge.

"My fitness is getting better," he said. "I can go in and contribute if called upon."

Australia host Tajikistan at the Adelaide Oval on March 24, before moving to Sydney's Allianz Stadium five days later for the clash with Jordan.

Wilkinson said no one in the Australian set-up was contemplating a most unlikely qualifying exit with two losses.

"We're not thinking that way at all," he said. "Our record at home is very good ... a lot of the Asian teams are very strong at home but tend to struggle a bit when they come away."