Socceroos manager Ange Postecoglou has backed national team skipper Mile Jedinak to bounce back despite the Crystal Palace captain starting as a bench player for the club’s opening two EPL games.
Jedinak, 31, has been a rock in the centre of Palace's midfield and is held in high regard at the London club.
But with the recent signing of French star Yohan Cabaye at Selhurst Park, the Aussie skipper has for the moment being squeezed out of Alan Pardew’s midfield three.
Postecoglou says he hasn’t spoken to Jedinak about his current situation, but is convinced his mental strength and physical condition won’t be an issue when the Socceroos convene in WA for their FIFA 2018 Russia World Cup Qualifiers™ against Bangladesh before they fly to Tajikistan.
“Certainly there’s nothing wrong with him [Jedinak] physically. He’s done a full pre-season and is in good nick,” Postecoglou told reporters on Wednesday.
“I’m sure he’d prefer to be playing but with his situation and knowing Mile I’m sure he’s fighting every training session to prove to the manager that he should be starting.
“And I’ve no doubt he’ll win that battle. He’s just that kind of guy.”
Postecoglou was hopeful Jedinak will see some game time in Palace’s upcoming League Cup match with Shrewsbury next week.
Jedinak was a 72nd minute substitute on the opening day of the season win away to Norwich but was unused in the 2-1 loss to Arsenal last weekend.
Palace play Aston Villa at Selhurst Park on Saturday and after next week’s midweek League Cup clash face Chelsea away on Saturday August 29.
“From a national team perspective, we’ve got no issues [with Jedinak not playing regularly right now] with where’s he’s at...and they’ve got a League Cup game coming up so hopefully he’ll get some game time there.
“And I’m sure he’ll present himself in good condition [in Perth],” said Postecoglou.
The Socceroo coach added playing regularly was important but made exceptions in the cases of Tomi Juric and Tommy Oar.
“We hoped Tommy [Oar] would have his future sorted out by now. We understand it’s getting closer but he’s been training on his own. It’s not ideal but he did really well for us in Kyrgyzstan. And from our perspective it didn’t affect him too much coming into camp [in Dubai].
“He looks after himself pretty well. And Tomi Juric the same. It would’ve been great to have his [transfer] sorted out a bit earlier but at least he’s training with the team [Roda in Holland] and by the time we get together he’d have had a couple of weeks at Roda and hopefully he can get a game in the next couple of weeks.”
Postecoglou explained the omission of striker and Asian Cup hero James Troisi was largely due to his lack of game time since the Asian Cup in January.
The 27-year-old attacking midfielder is owned by Juventus but has never played for the Turin giants and is unlikely to feature in their Serie A title defence during the coming campaign.
Troisi enjoyed a productive loan spell at Belgian club Zulte Waregem last term but appears no closer to securing his next loan move or permanent transfer.
“Even in Kyrgyzstan he looked a bit underdone because of his injuries [since the Asian Cup in January],” said Postecoglou.
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