Robbie Keane fears the Republic of Ireland will struggle to qualify for a major tournament if they do not improve their world ranking.
Ireland have dropped 41 places in the last 15 months and are now ranked 59th in the world.
The Republic of Ireland captain admits that gives Tuesday Group C game against Kazakhstan added importance.
"Certainly, it's something to be a little worried about, no question about that, because as we know with the rankings situation and seedings that is the problem in the long run," he told Sky Sports News.
"If we don't change that fairly quickly we could find ourselves in a group with two, three really good teams above us. Look at this group with Germany, Sweden and Austria - three tough teams.
"And if we don't change the seedings fairly quickly it could be like that for a good few years so the sooner the better we try and change that as it will be better in the long run."
One of the main shortcomings of the side is their lack of goals, with just one in their last four outings.
He added: "It is an issue if you don't score goals, because the teams you play against will always score if you don't so you have to take your opportunities."