Australia coach Ange Postecoglou has backed captain Mile Jedinak to bounce back despite the Crystal Palace skipper starting on the bench for the club’s opening two games of the Premier League season.
Jedinak was a regular in the Palace midfield prior to the Asian Cup, but has struggled to break into the XI since Alan Pardew took over at the club in January.
With Frenchman Yohan Cabaye arriving at Selhurst Park from Paris Saint-Germain in June, Jedinak has found himself well and truly on the outer.
Postecoglou has not spoken to Jedinak about his current situation, but is convinced the 31-year-old’s mental strength and physical condition will not be an issue when the Socceroos come together for World Cup qualifiers against Bangladesh and Tajikistan.
“Certainly there’s nothing wrong with him [Jedinak] physically. He’s done a full pre-season and is in good nick,” Postecoglou told reporters on Wednesday.
“I’m sure he’d prefer to be playing but with his situation and knowing Mile I’m sure he’s fighting every training session to prove to the manager that he should be starting.
“And I’ve no doubt he’ll win that battle. He’s just that kind of guy.”
Jedinak was a 72nd-minute substitute in Palace’s win away to Norwich but was unused in the 2-1 loss to Arsenal on Sunday.
Palace play Aston Villa at Selhurst Park on Saturday and are away to Chelsea on August 29 in their last match before the international break.
“From a national team perspective, we’ve got no issues with where he’s at …. and they’ve got a League Cup game coming up so hopefully he’ll get some game time there,” Postecoglou said.
“And I’m sure he’ll present himself in good condition [in Perth].”