With Lucas Neill now without a club after his sudden release from Al Wasl, Australia coach Holger Osieck has urged his captain to move quick to assure his place for the Socceroos
|By DAMIEN SOUNESS
Neill, 34, was released by Al Wasl last week, less than six months after joining from fellow United Arab Emirates Pro League side Al Jazira.
"It's not a very positive development," Socceroos coach Osieck said ahead of Australia's friendly with Romania in Spain on Wednesday.
"First and foremost, it affects himself, but down the road it's going to affect the national team as well.
"A player has to be in a regular playing rhythm, has to have a regular schedule and I hope he can resolve his situation pretty quickly."
Neill has been touted as a prized recruit for AFC Champions League contenders Central Coast Mariners and Brisbane Roar, though Osieck said the defender should consider all of his options.
"I would advise him to find a spot where he can play regularly; it doesn't matter where it is," he said.
Neill is set to lead the Socceroos against Romania, despite being suspended for the crucial World Cup qualifier with Oman in March.
"The reason why Lucas is here, although he is not eligible for the Oman game, is that we had a couple of exits in central defence," Osieck said.
"In order to build a new situation and a new group, you need to have some experience that you can build around and therefore I decided to bring him in."
With Sasa Ognenovski and Matthew Spiranovic absent in Spain, Osieck will give Chunnam Dragons linchpin Robert Cornthwaite and Middlesbrough captain Rhys Williams an opportunity to push their claims for a berth in the heart of defence.
"I think Romania offer a good challenge to us," Osieck said."I saw their squad list and they're bringing all their big names, so it will be good to see how our boys respond."