Australia captain Mile Jedinak is doing everything in his power to prove his fitness for Tuesday’s decisive AFC World Cup qualifier against Jordan.
Jedinak has been unable to train with the Socceroos since last week’s 7-0 drubbing of Tajikistan in Adelaide due to a thigh strain.
The Crystal Palace midfielder will make one last-ditch attempt to convince Australia coach Ange Postecoglou he is ready to face Jordan, who are two points adrift heading into the blockbuster Group B fixture at Allianz Stadium.
“It’s been hard to sit out the last couple of days not being involved,” Jedinak told reporters.
“I’ll do everything I can today, that’s what I’ve been doing the last few days, to make sure I’m ready tomorrow.”
Postecoglou said he would give his skipper as much time as possible to prove his fitness in a game the Socceroos must not lose to ensure they progress to the next stage of qualifying.
Mark Milligan – who replaced Jedinak at half-time in Adelaide – is likely to win the holding midfield spot should the 31-year-old not pass his fitness test.
Regardless of Jedinak’s fitness battle, Postecoglou hinted at other changes to his line-up for Jordan, with a number of players pressing their claims for a start.
“Everyone’s in good nick which is great. They’ve recovered really well since the last game which is positive,” Postecoglou said.
“The beauty of it is we have options all over the place and that’s the point we want to get to.
“When you look at the guys that didn’t start the other night and the ones that came on, they’ve all got a claim for a first team spot and the guys who started did very well.
“I’ve got an idea in my head. As a coach I’m in the decent position in whichever 11 I put out there will do a good job.”
While Jordan beat the Socceroos 2-0 the last time the sides met in Amman last October, much has changed for both nations since then.
The Australian squad looks a lot different and have the luxury of playing at home, while the Jordanians have a new coach at the helm in the form of former Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp.
Asked what impact Redknapp could have on Jordan since his appointment a couple of weeks ago, Postecoglou said: “I don’t think we’ll see anything remarkably different.
“He’s really only had a few days with them. He’s a very experienced manager and he’ll know how much influence he can have in a few days and I don’t think it will be much different to what we have seen in the past.”
- Soccer News Like
- Be the first of your friends!