You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Prove your worth, Ange tells Socceroos

AAP logoAAP 26/10/2016 Vince Rugari

Ange Postecoglou has effectively challenged his would-be Socceroos to prove this weekend why they deserve to play in next month's World Cup qualifier in Thailand.

Postecoglou has named an extended 30-man squad for Australia's final international assignment of the year and will trim it back to 23 once he's watched this weekend's fixtures.

That gives them all one last opportunity for their clubs, either in the A-League or abroad, to audition for a seat on the plane to Bangkok.

The squad that drew with Saudi Arabia and Japan has been retained in its entirety, along with seven new faces - Luke Brattan, Tommy Oar, Josh Risdon, Jason Geria and overseas-based trio Nathan Burns, Milos Degenek and Aziz Behich.

Postecoglou has taken this approach partly to motivate his players but partly out of necessity, with a short turnaround from Australia's last clash and minor injury concerns over Degenek (knee) and left-back Brad Smith (foot) prompting him to cast the net a little wider.

Brattan, who was part of a Socceroos camp last year but failed to win a cap, is in top form for A-League side Melbourne City, while Brisbane Roar winger Oar has not made a national team appearance for nearly 12 months.

The duo are among five A-League players in the squad, along with Perth Glory's Josh Risdon, Melbourne Victory's Jason Geria and City's marquee star Tim Cahill.

"Obviously the A-League's had a really strong start, there's a few players who have already sown some pretty decent form," Postecoglou said.

"The guys listed (in the squad) are the ones on the radar at the moment. That's not to say some of the others aren't putting a strong case forward."

If fit, 1860 Munich utility Degenek - a late withdrawal from the last camp - appears likely get first crack at right-back, which has emerged as a problem position for the Socceroos.

Postecoglou has rifled through candidates as he searches for a player with not only the ability to defend but to add attacking drive and potency along the right flank.

"I thought he did really well in the two camps we've had him in and he's one we're looking at giving an opportunity there," he said.

Risdon and Geria also play at right-back while left-back Behich is in line for his first Socceroos involvement since last year's 2-1 win in Kyrgystan.

The Socceroos are second in Group B and cannot afford to slip up against a winless Thailand, whose chances of World Cup qualification for Russia 2018 appear shot.

Postecoglou said he chose to have a longer lead-in camp, instead of arranging a friendly beforehand, because he knew how important the November 15 clash would be.

"We certainly don't see them as a banana peel. We see them as an opponent to be respected like all from the rest," Postecoglou said.

Australia: Aziz Behich, Luke Brattan, Nathan Burns, Tim Cahill, Milos Degenek, Adam Federici, Jason Geria, Alex Gersbach, Apostolos Giannou, Craig Goodwin, Chris Ikonomidis, Jackson Irvine, Mile Jedinak, James Jeggo, Tomi Juric, Robbie Kruse, Mitchell Langerak, Mathew Leckie, Massimo Luongo, Ryan McGowan, Mark Milligan, Aaron Mooy, Tommy Oar, Josh Risdon, Tommy Rogic, Mathew Ryan, Trent Sainsbury, Brad Smith, Matthew Spiranovic, Bailey Wright.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon