22-man Socceroos squad named for Iraq 2014 WCQ
Socceroos Head Coach Holger Osieck today named a 22-player squad that will face Iraq in a 2014 FIFA World Cup Asian Qualifier in Doha, Qatar on Tuesday 16 October (Kick-off 1:15am AEDT).
Mark Milligan (suspension), Tommy Oar and Carl Valeri return to the Socceroos squad, while David Carney, Sasa Ognenovski and Jason Davidson, who are searching for clubs or injured, have missed selection for the eighth meeting between the Australia and Iraq at senior men’s international level.
The most recent meeting was in the quarter-finals of the AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2011 where the Socceroos were victorious 1-0 courtesy of a Harry Kewell goal in extra time.
The Socceroos are currently in third position of Group B with draws against Oman (0-0) and Japan (1-1) and a loss against Jordan (1-2) in their opening matches of the final round of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Asian Qualifiers.
Iraq are in fourth place of Group B after draws with Jordan (1-1) and Oman (1-1) and a loss to Japan (0-1).
The game is a must win for the Socceroos.
“We know we are in a very special situation right now,” Osieck told reporters on Wednesday.
“This has become a crucial game but I’m very confident with the players available we can do it and get the points that we need.”
Osieck stressed he was not losing patience with the team’s veterans, but said he would urge them to be better leaders.
“I have to be very critical. I expect in particular from what you call senior players the guidance for the entire group and I will get that pretty clearly across when we have the opening of the camp in Doha,” he said.
“It’s not enough to enter the pitch and do some stuff and after the final whistle you are relieved of your duties. It’s ongoing, starting from the moment we arrive in our hotel to when we depart.”
Osieck has scrapped a planned warm-up match against United Arab Emirates, feeling it would be detrimental to play another match in difficult Middle Eastern conditions.
Socceroos Squad v Iraq
Mark Bresciano, Alex Brosque,tim Cahill, James Holland, Brett Holman, Mile Jedinak, Brad Jones (Gk), Robbie Kruse, Mitchell Langerak (Gk), Ryan Mcgowan, Matthew Mckay, Mark Milligan, Lucas Neill, Jade North, Tommy Oar, Nikita Rukavytsya, Adam Sarota, Mark Schwarzer (Gk), Matthew Spiranovic, Archie Thompson, Carl Valeri, Luke Wilkshire
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