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Socceroos need game-time

Aap
Wednesday, December 18, 2013

MELBOURNE - The only man certain of heading to Brazil with the Socceroos is boss Ange Postecoglou.

In a message likely to buoy fringe players and worry those stuck on the sidelines at their clubs, Postecoglou was clear about how many had booked their place on the plane to June's World Cup.

"I reckon just me at this stage, there's still 23 up for grabs," he said.

If there was any doubt that veteran Socceroos Lucas Neill and Mark Bresciano needed to end uncertainty around their club future, this was it.

Postecoglou emphasised the need for players to be in competitive action in the lead-up to the World Cup, where the Socceroos could play as few as two matches before they leave for Brazil.

"The Costa Rica camp certainly gave me a decent idea of what I want it (the squad) to look like, there's still a lot of football to be played.

"Form and health and fitness are going to be paramount," he said.

"I'm casting the net wide and narrowing it from there rather than the other way around."

Turmoil at national captain Neill's J-League club Omiya Ardija has left him on the sidelines, while Bresciano is currently appealing a FIFA ban for an illegal transfer.