Australian national team coach Holger Osieck has explained some of his questionable selections for next month's Asian Cup in Qatar. The German tactician yesterday named a 23-man squad for the tournament, which kicks off on January 7, but left out a few names which some expected to be included.
Lazio midfielder Mark Bresciano, Blackburn Rovers hardman Vince Grella and Reading goalkeeper Adam Federici are usually selected in Socceroos squads but Osieck has opted against taking them to the Middle East.
After the squad announcement, Osieck explained various reasons for the non-selection of the trio.
"I didn't pick Bresciano because he is not playing on a regular basis," Osieck said last night in a teleconference from Zurich, Switzerland.
"I went to Blackburn to speak with Grella, and he's just not fit enough, is training on his own, but he remains committed to the Socceroos in the future.
"Picking a back-up keeper for [Mark] Schwarzer is always difficult. Federici is in the middle of contract extension talks with his club," Osieck said regarding Federici.
"There is also some speculation that he may also be transferred to another, bigger club when the transfer window opens next week."
The 23-man squad will assemble in Dubai to take on United Arab Emirates a few days before the tournament starts before meeting India in their first group stage match on January 10.