Bert van Marwijk has defensive issues to address in Oslo and London.
Bert van Marwijk has defensive issues to address in Oslo and London.

van Marwijk: Friendly call up no World Cup guarantee

SOCCEROOS coach Bert van Marwijk declared that the World Cup door remained open for players not selected in his first camp.

Defender Trent Sainsbury, who recently signed for Grasshopper Zurich, is unlikely to play in the friendlies against Norway and Colombia, with Korea-based defender Matt Jurman the other concern.

Van Marwijk said the injury concerns were the reason he picked an extended squad (only 23 will go to the World Cup), revealing that he will use all three keepers (Mat Ryan, Brad Jones and Danny Vukovic) in the two games.

"This is not the final squad. It's not a guarantee for no player who is nominated now that they will be nominated for the World Championship,'' van Marwijk said from Holland via teleconference on Thursday morning.

"This is new for me, normally as a coach of national team you have less time, but now it's even more clear that we hardly have time.

"It's very important to get to know the players. We will only get one or two trainings (before the Norway game).

"I will tell them something about my plans. I can also do that in the meeting room. But it's not good for the players to tell your whole vision in 30 minutes, it takes time.

"I can not say that I will use all the players. I want to see the three keepers.

Trent Sainsbury is unlikely to play in Norway.
Trent Sainsbury is unlikely to play in Norway.

"First I have to see how fit they (the players) are (before deciding on how many of the 26 will play), it depends on my feeling after trainings and also after the first game."

Van Marwijk said Czech-based stopper Alex Susnjar was picked on assistant Ante Milicic's recommendation after a strong AFC Under 23 Championships campaign in January and defensive shortages could see him feature.

"We have a few injuries in those positions so this is the right time to nominate him (Susnjar),'' he said.

"The players I'm concerned about are Sainsbury and Jurman, they are two important players.

All players are important but in central defence we don't have too much possibilities and that's why I nominated these two players.

Alex Susnjar is set to get his big chance.
Alex Susnjar is set to get his big chance.

"While I know they're not ready to train 100 per cent with the group, they both can do parts of training and for them it's also important that I get to know and learn (about) them, they get a signal from me and I hope that they will be fit within a few weeks.

"I don't think Sainsbury will play because we have to be very careful. That's the reason I invited 26 players."

The Socceroos begin their Oslo camp on Sunday, with players arriving as late as Tuesday ahead of friendly against Norway on Saturday week (EDT).



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