Sport Football Postecoglou has A-League players in sights

Postecoglou has A-League players in sights

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Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou has A-League players in his sights as he looks to settle on his World Cup squad.

Postecoglou will name a 23-man squad next week for the March 5 friendly against Ecuador in London and says there’ll be some new faces in the side, including players from Europe and the A-League.

But he says while a few A-League players may miss out on this squad, they are still well in contention.

“There are probably two or three who’ll probably miss out who are pretty close and if they maintain their form they’re still well in the calculations,” he said.

“But I’ve been pretty pleased that some of the players I’ve been tracking are starting to find some consistency.

“This is the interesting part of the A-League season too, the games mean a little bit more and the pressure is bit higher with the finals around the corner and some of them will be playing champions league games.

“So good form in that kind of environment is a good indicator.”

Postecoglou was in the stands as Melbourne Victory sealed their qualification into the Asian Champions League with a 2-1 win over Thai team Muangthong United on Friday.

Victory forward James Troisi, who scored in the match, made a move back to the A-League from Italy in the hope of getting on Postecoglou’s radar ahead of Brazil and the coach said he was among a few players in the club he had his eye on.

Playmaker Tom Rogic and Mark Milligan are near-certainties for Brazil, while the likes of Mitch Nichols and veteran Archie Thompson could also be in the mix.

“Yeah, James is in contention,” Postecoglou said.

“He’s one of a number of players in the A-League who are starting to show some consistency.

“I was rapt on Friday night for a number of reason with Melbourne Victory getting through.

“They’ve got two or three players who are well in contention for the squad, so the fact they’re getting extra games is great.”

Postecoglou, who last week returned from a scouting trip in Europe, plans to use the Ecuador game to test out as many fringe players as possible with it being the final game before he settles on his extended World Cup squad in May.

But he says if players miss out on the March clash they’ll still have the opportunity to impress at their clubs.

“We’ve got to announce our squad of 30 by the beginning of our camp in May,” he said.

“So from then on I’ll be following club form.”

After the Ecuador friendly the Socceroos will play a farewell match in late May, likely to be in Sydney, before heading to Brazil.

Postecoglou said an opponent is close to being confirmed for that match.

Australia will also play at least one friendly in Brazil before they kick off their campaign against Chile on June 13, with a June 6 clash against Croatia all but confirmed.

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