Australia coach Ange Postecoglou has welcomed back a trio of Asian Cup winners into his 23-man squad for next month’s World Cup qualifier against Jordan but captain Mile Jedinak remains sidelined with hamstring troubles.
The Crystal Palace skipper Jedinak missed both the winning qualifiers against Bangladesh and Tajikistan after straining his hamstring in the Premier League and had suffered a relapse, Postecoglou said on Wednesday.
“At a stretch he might have made this (training) camp, but because he’s had that setback maybe coming back too early, I think it’s wise to us to make sure Mile’s 100 per cent and right for the November games,” Postecoglou told a media conference in Melbourne.
Australia, who lead Asia’s Group B by two points ahead of Jordan, play the Middle Eastern side away on Oct. 8 before returning home to play Kyrgyzstan in Canberra on Nov. 12.
Forwards Tomic Juric and James Troisi, and defender Trent Sainsbury — all part of the team that won the Asian Cup on home soil in January — bolster a strong squad spearheaded by veteran forward Tim Cahill.
Postecoglou has also named uncapped Bradford City left back James Meredith after monitoring his progress in the English third-tier side.
“We have been keeping an eye on James for the past 18 months and this season he has started well so well bring him in to see how he fits into the system,” the coach said.
“We still need a bit more depth in our fullback areas so James has a chance to impress and show us he can add something to our rapidly increasing pool of players.”
Germany-based winger Robbie Kruse has been ruled out with a calf injury.
Victory over Jordan at the Amman International Stadium will go a long way to securing Australia’s passage to the next phase of qualifying after three straight wins in the current round.
“On paper this is the toughest match we face but we have seen in the earlier games, especially the clash with Kyrgyzstan away, that these matches present challenges on and off the field,” Postecoglou said.
“The last time Australia faced Jordan in Amman we lost that game so we have to be well prepared.”
Goalkeepers – Alex Cisak, Adam Federici Eugene Galekovic
Defenders – Jason Davidson, Tarek Elrich, James Meredith, Matt Spiranovic, Ryan McGowan, Trent Sainsbury, Alex Wilkinson, Bailey Wright
Midfielders – Luke Brattan, Massimo Luongo, Matt McKay, Mark Milligan, Aaron Mooy, Tommy Oar, Tom Rogic
Forwards – Nathan Burns, Tim Cahill, Tomi Juric, Matthew Leckie, James Troisi