Sport Football Lucas Neill aims to impress new Socceroos coach

Lucas Neill aims to impress new Socceroos coach

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Embattled Socceroo Lucas Neill says he has no idea whether he will retain his captaincy under Ange Postecoglou but hopes to impress the new coach with his natural leadership skills.

The veteran defender concedes he is “on trial” just like his 21 Australian squad team-mates, who are in camp ahead of next Tuesday’s friendly against Costa Rica in Sydney.

Neill has been under fire since the Socceroos’ back-to-back drubbings by Brazil and France, and his reaction to Holger Osieck’s subsequent sacking.

Among those making the most noise were former players Mark Bosnich and Robbie Slater, who savaged Neill’s commitment, form and fitness.

“You can only be judged on your performances and I’m only going to look forward,” Neill told the Nine Network.

“The fact of the matter is, I love playing for Australia. I’m always going to make myself available.

“And right now, like everybody, I’m on trial hoping to be part of the 23 that goes to Brazil.

“I have a chance now this week to impress the new manager and hopefully my natural leadership qualities will come through and I’m one of the players that gets picked for that 23.

“I’m a very proud Australian, I still feel I have plenty to offer the team.

“Obviously I have the experience of being a leader and I’m always going to hold my hand up and offer myself for that honour.

“But like always, I’ll consider myself a role model and I know I have responsibilities to this country and I’ll continue to do that as long as I get the opportunity.”

Neill says he has “no idea” if he will be named captain, adding that he had not spoken to Postecoglou about the situation.

“Like all the players in this team, I’m sure we’re going to have opportunities to speak at length with the boss,” he said.

“And when that happens, we’ll obviously get an idea of the plans, his tactics, where he sees people playing and how he wants them to play.”

Neill hosed down rumours that team-mate Tim Cahill was already in line to don the armband, saying the New York Red Bulls star has not yet joined the team camp.

“So when he gets here I’m sure his fitness will be assessed and, like anyone, he would consider that an honour,” he said.

“But right now, there’s 23 guys on trial all looking to stake their place in a World Cup squad.”