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Socceroos coach Verbeek had to settle for local players

Australian national team coach Pim Verbeek admitted the European based players were out of the question for next month's Asian Cup qualifier against Indonesia.

Yesterday Verbeek named a squad of 25 to prepare for the vital clash in Brisbane on March 3 and admits that he was forced to pick an underpowered squad, primarily from the A-League.

''It was more or less impossible to think of the European players,'' Verbeek said. ''You see how many players should be injured, there are those playing Europa League and FA Cup, so to fly them so far for a midweek game is too much risk."

Verbeek eased the fears of Socceroos supporters and media alike, saying that he was confident with the players he has even though the team is nowhere near full strength.

''There is no reason to be nervous," he added.

"Of course we all know with the best players available it could have been easier and we will have to work hard because it will be a hard game. Indonesia have no pressure on their shoulders and maybe that makes them more dangerous because they can play free. But I am still confident we can do the job with this selection.''

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Andrew Slevison
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