Red tape set to delay Smith's Socceroo bow

Ange Postecoglou has confirmed new-boy Brad Smith may have to wait for his Socceroo debut as they await an international clearance for the Liverpool loanee.

Smith, who represented England at under-21 level, has since pledged his allegiance to Australia and Postecoglou was hoping to have him available for the clash with Belgium in Liege on Friday morning (AEST).

While the official stamp of approval is considered a formality, less than 24 hours out from the match it’s still a waiting game.   

“With Brad the paper work is with FIFA and it’s one of those timing things,” Postecoglou told FFA TV.

“We were hoping to push it through before the game against Belgium but if not I’m fairly confident against Saudi Arabia he’ll be available to play.

“It will be good to give him a run and a taste of international football.”

Postecoglou confirmed Robbie Kruse was “OK” after an injury scare yesterday and wants to see improvement in his side from their impressive displays in Brazil.

“It (Belgium game) is a tough assignment but that’s the best way for us to keep developing as a nation,” he said.

“Definitely the World Cup experience has helped a lot of the players that went through that. We’re not on a new journey now, we’ve already started that journey before the World Cup.

“Now we’re looking for progression and that’s another real strong performance against another world-class nation.”

The Socceroos play Belgium on Thursday 4 September at Stade Maurice Dufrasne, Leige 8.45pm (4.45am AEST) and Saudi Arabia on Monday 8 September at Craven Cottage, London 8.00pm (5am AEST) with both matches to be broadcast LIVE and exclusive on FOX SPORTS.