Verbeek hints at Coyne selection shock

Socceroos Pim Verbeek has thrown out the first possible selection shock for this Saturday’s World Cup qualifier against Iraq in Dubai (UAE), with Chris Coyne a chance to make his international debut.

Dubai: Socceroos Pim Verbeek has thrown out the first possible selection shock for this Saturday-s World Cup qualifier against Iraq in Dubai (UAE), with Chris Coyne a chance to make his international debut.

Coyne was used during a more vigorous training session in the centre of a three-man defence, which included Jade North on the right and Michael Beauchamp on the left, with Brett Emerton and David Carney staying as wide attacking fullbacks.

Verbeek also had Carl Valeri alongside Vince Grella as a screening midfielder, while he mixed around his attacking combinations.

But the use of Coyne was the main talking point amongst those at training, as Verbeek looked to tinker his defensive line-up after some anxious moments last Sunday in Brisbane.

“It-s Wednesday, we still have 3 days to go,” said a coy Verbeek, when asked about Coyne in the back three.

But as he opened up, the Dutchmen sang the Colchester United-s praises and while not committing that he is likely to start him, his impression left most thinking he might be in line for his international debut.

“He has personality; he-s a leader; he-s a tough defender; he-s a very good header; he-s never in panic, so he is somebody so far that we don-t have in the backline,” said Verbeek after the hard training session.

“Everything I have said is exactly what he is doing, so that is good. I have the confidence (in him) that-s why I took him in the last selections, so he can do a job.”

Verbeek confirmed that one of the reasons for the change to a possible back three was partially because of the lack of organisation in last Sunday-s 1-0 win, but it also served an attacking purpose as well.

“Absolutely; that is one reason,” he said when asked if it was to provide extra cover in the middle. Second though we are going to use the offensive qualities of Brett Emerton and David Carney more and it-s easier to do that when you have more coverage in the backline.

“We have lost many experienced defenders in recent years and if you look at those players coming in, Jade North, who didn-t have any rhythm because of the A-League season; you have Rodrigo Vargas, who is also quite inexperienced and Matt Spiranovic, who is a 19-year-old boy coming out of the blue, so games like this you need a little bit more experience.

Asked about Valeri as a possible starter, he was more circumspect.

“It-s possible, but I have not made up my mind about it yet. I have more players that can play in that position, but I am just trying to find out how many attacking players I can bring into the team.”

The Dutchmen has already conceded that his team will not play its usual game of pressing football, due to the oppressive weather conditions.

“It-s impossible to play and pressure football, so you have to g0o back to your own half. The good thing is Iraq will have the same problem.

“It-s always easier to defend then attack, so lets start with a good defensive organisation and we have players enough who can make the final decision if we have the ball.

“I think the Iraqi team should be more worried about us, because they have to win and we can wait and see and wait for our chances.”

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