Graham Arnold backs benched stars to fire against Jordan in World Cup qualifier


“At this stage, a lot of the selection is based around, obviously, the match minutes that they play at their clubs but also the position they play,” Arnold said.

“So if we’ve got depth in that position, then there’s a chance that they’re not going to probably be selected.

“Tommy Rogic is back in form. He played a full 90 minutes last Sunday, he didn’t play against Lazio, he didn’t play [Sunday], he’s played good minutes over the last month.”

Arnold said that, in a lot of cases, having his players benched by their clubs was a boost as it served to rest them before crucial games.

“Absolutely, I look at Tommy Rogic playing last Sunday; he’s in great shape,” he said.

“Aaron Mooy has played in the reserve grade level at Brighton, and Milos Degenek, he’s not played that much football, and he didn’t play on Sunday.

“So they’re actually coming in here fresher, so I’ll expect they’ll be fresh, they’ll really have a lot of energy, they’ll bring a lot of energy into camp.”

Winger Mathew Leckie is set to miss the qualifier as he and his wife await the birth of their second child.

The Hertha Berlin attacker missed the Monday night deadline to make it to Amman with the rest of the squad but Arnold was unconcerned.

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“It’s great for his family,” Arnold said. “The timing is something else, but we just want his family to be happy and healthy. That’s the most important thing.”

The only other change in Arnold’s original squad selection was the call-up of in-form Western Sydney Wanderers striker Mitchell Duke to replace AEK Larnaca forward Apostolos Giannou, who pulled his hamstring.

The Socceroos top Group B with three wins from as many qualifiers but will face their toughest test against the Jordanians, who are second.

AAP

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