Tommy Oar and Mark Bresciano could be Ange Postecoglou’s secret weapons, the under-used pair set to be unleashed in Thursday night’s knockout quarter-final with China at Brisbane Stadium.
So far in three Asian Cup games, the two have played substitute roles with both yet to start a game.
It’s caused the media to question the pair’s roles in the team. But with freshness on their sides, they could just be the Socceroos’ secret weapon against the Chinese, hinted Postecoglou.
“They’re both very much in contention,” explained the Aussie coach at the official pre-match press conference.
“It’s nice to know from my perspective that we have two guys who haven’t been overloaded with too much work and are quality players who can contribute from now on.
“They are very much in contention to contribute whether that’s from the beginning or off the bench tomorrow.
“Obvously ‘Bresh’ has had a little bit of game time, Tommy less so. But that’s just the circumstances of how the games have panned out.
“But they are an important part of our squad and both quality players.”
With the rise of Massimo Luongo and the overall strengthening in depth in midfield and attack, perhaps it’s not such a surprise after all.
“Again, I reiterate, part of this process was to build some depth," added Postecoglou.
"And when you have depth some very good players are going to miss out.
“But we’re going to need them [Oar and Bresciano].
"And already we’ve shown whoever’s been needed has been able to step up.”
The Socceroos trained on Wednesday afternoon and aside from the suspended Matt Spiranovic, all players said to be fit and available for selection.
The Socceroos will face China PR in the Quarter-Finals of the AFC Asian Cup at Brisbane Stadium on Thursday 22 January (8.30pm local kick off). Click here to purchase tickets.