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Fiji Time: 2:28 AM on Sunday 31 August

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Socceroos to play their best

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Monday, May 26, 2014

SYDNEY - With World Cup spots still on the line, the Socceroos won't be going easy on an understrength South Africa tonight, defender Ryan McGowan insists.

Bafana Bafana have been hit by a string of withdrawals with coach Gordon Igesund forced to bring a severely depleted squad to Australia for the friendly at ANZ Stadium.

Among those missing is Kagisho Dikgacoi, the Crystal Palace midfielder and the only South African playing regularly in the English Premier League.

Goalkeeper and captain Itumeleng Khune and his Kaizer Chiefs teammate, attacking midfielder Bernard Parker, were also among those to pull out.

The South Africa clash will be the final chance for some players to impress with Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou to trim three from the 30-man squad tomorrow before naming the final 23 on June 2.

McGowan, who plays for Chinese Super League side Shandong Luneng, knows Postecoglou won't be taking the match lightly.

"Sometimes it makes it more difficult when they're a so-called second team because they will be wanting to go out and impress just as much as we are," McGowan said after training on Saturday.

"He'll (Postecoglou) want to have some rhythm to the game and play certain players but he'll want to see a few of the younger boys too.

"But at the same time, he doesn't even like losing training sessions so I can't imagine if we have a bad performance, he'll be too happy.

"So he'll definitely be wanting to put on a show ... and we want to make sure we leave Australia on a high."

Skipper Mile Jedinak is unlikely to feature on Monday admitting it's "a little too soon" to play a game as he recovers from the groin injury he picked up in Crystal Palace's final EPL game.

In a possible indication of who might start against South Africa, Postecoglou teamed McGowan with Matthew Spiranovic in the centre of defence in an 11 v 11 game at the end of Saturday's training session at Kogarah's Jubilee Oval.


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