Monday, March 27, 2017

Australia v Bangladesh: Luongo excited by Rogic partnership

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 1 Sep 2015

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Key Socceroo Massimo Luongo is excited about what playmaker Tom Rogic will add to the side ahead of their World Cup qualifier against Bangladesh on Thursday.

Ange Postecoglou’s side face Bangladesh in Perth, followed by a trip to Tajikistan five days later.

Luongo missed the 2-1 win against Kyrgyzstan through injury but is back in the green and gold and in scintillating form.

The QPR creative midfielder is one of a host of Socceroos to have started their overseas campaigns at the top of their games.

Ingolstadt’s Mathew Leckie scored his first Bundesliga goal, while Celtic’s Rogic has impressed and makes his long-awaited national team return.

“When I saw the squad list come out I was quite excited,” Luongo told reporters in Perth on Tuesday.

“I haven’t actually played with Tom Rogic but just from watching him and from what I’ve heard it’s going to be exciting.

“Especially when he turns up in those pockets and you can give him the ball and trust him on the ball… it’s the same with Leckie.

“Unfortunately Robbie Kruse isn’t here but the boys we have in the squad, it’s really exciting in attack. It will be good to watch, it always is.”

With skipper Mile Jedinak out through injury, there is a thought Rogic could win a spot in the midfield three alongside Luongo and the experienced Mark Milligan.

With Tim Cahill, Leckie and Nathan Burns ahead of them, the Socceroos will be eyeing goals.

“Besides Tommy, the attacking chemistry is already there. We’ve been working at it long enough, even before the [2014] World Cup,” Luongo said.

“Everyone’s quite familiar with their roles, even if they play a different position in that front half, everyone gets their roles and other peoples’ roles and it will mix well.

“No one plays off the cuff; we all know what we’re doing and our roles. It will all be quite smooth.”

Australia are alongside Jordan and Kyrgyzstan on three points in Group B, with Bangladesh holding just one point through their two games.

The clash at nib Stadium will be the first ever between the nations, and the Socceroos are heavy favourites to claim three points despite being undermanned.

Postecoglou is without the likes of Mat Ryan, Mitch Langerak, Trent Sainsbury, Jedinak, James Troisi and Kruse.

Bangladesh are winless this year, losing two and drawing three of their five matches – including being beaten by Kyrgyzstan.

As they prepare for the trip to Western Australia, Dutch coach Lodewijk de Kruif will know his team have nothing to lose.

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