Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou has challenged Tom Rogic to show what he can do now that he’ll finally be getting regular game time at his new club Melbourne Victory.
The 21-year-old playmaker this week sealed a loan deal with the Victory from his Scottish club Celtic.
The talented playmaker struggled to break into Celtic’s first team since joining the Glasgow giants last year but will get more minutes on the pitch in Melbourne.
He is expected to feature heavily in Victory’s finals tilt and throughout the Asian Champions League, should the club qualify for the tournament’s group stage.
The former Central Coast star is expected to make his debut for Victory as early as this Sunday’s clash with Sydney FC.
“It’s pleasing that Tom will play some football. That was obviously what the priority was from my perspective in a World Cup year, to get some regular football under his belt,” Postecoglou said.
“I’m pleased that that opportunity has been given to him. But that’s part one of the equation. Part two is now he’s got to play some good football like everyone else.
“Melbourne Victory is a good club and more importantly the A-League will be good test for him as a competition.”
While the Rogic move is a boost for the Socceroos, Postecoglou all but ruled out Robbie Kruse’s involvement in the Brazil showpiece which kicks off in June but says his absence opens the door for other players to take his place.
Kruse underwent surgery in Germany on Thursday and, having not opted for the radical LARS procedure which could have had him playing in three months. Postecoglou said he must focus on the Asian Cup next year.
The Bayer Leverkusen forward had stated his intention of trying to recover in time to play in Brazil, but Postecoglou has effectively quashed the 25-year-old’s chances of a comeback.
“He’s in a good place in Germany and he’s getting good advice as to what the best course of action is and he’s obviously contacted our medical department as well and everyone agrees that’s the best course of action,” Postecoglou said.
“So realistically, the World Cup will probably come too soon for him.”
“Robbie was an important part of what we did. If you look at where our players are playing, I think Robbie and Mile Jedinak are the ones playing at the highest level so to lose one of those two is a blow but the opportunity is there now for someone else to step in.”