Holger Osieck stands by his Socceroos record

The German has hit back at criticism of his recent record in charge of the national team, and is adamant he has the situation well in hand ahead of two key friendlies next month

Holger Osieck has launched an impassioned defence of his recent decisions as Australia coach after making several changes to his squad ahead of crunch games against France and Canada.

The Socceroos coach was universally derided after overseeing a 6-0 thrashing away to Brazil earlier this month, a result which prompted severe criticism of his continued reliance on a predictable core of veteran players.

The 65-year-old German appears to have heeded calls for change, picking the likes of Mathew Leckie, Oliver Bozanic, Jason Davidson and Jackson Irvine for the international friendlies next month, the outcome of which could decide his future in the job.

Speaking at the latest squad announcement in Sydney on Tuesday, Osieck said he felt the next generation had failed to convince him fully in the past, while the aging stars had been responsible for securing qualification to the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

"If you look at recent history, the younger players found it difficult to adapt to the required status," he said.

"In June, in our qualifying campaign, the more experienced players played, and they did well. They really performed and got us through to the World Cup.

"Right now, as you can see from the selection, I'm still looking into opportunities for other players maybe to step up, maybe to get into the team. That is obvious from the list of players you have in front of you.

"One thing - we have to consider the following: If I explain it, and I would like to underline the word explanation, not excuse, what was our status when we went to Brazil? The A-League players I called in were still in pre-season. The players from the Middle East hadn't started their season, they came from pre-season as well.

"A couple of the European guys, like Robbie Kruse, they didn't play [regularly for their clubs]. Tim [Cahill] and Luke Wilkshire had to pull out at short notice. There's an number of aspects that have to be put on the table to explain and I want to repeat myself, not to excuse [the performance].

"If and when we are at full strength, when our boys are at full playing rhythm, then, definitely, the overall performance will definitely improve."

Osieck went as far as to suggest that agreeing to tackle the 2013 Confederations Cup winners may have been too tough of a challenge for his players, but stood by the off-field merits of the fixture.

"Maybe, looking to the Brazil game in retrospective, it was premature to go there," he said.

"However, we got the opportunity the play the [World Cup] hosts in their home country, on their home soil. We had the opportunity to get familiar with conditions over there. We got familiar with all the travel aspects and it's not as smooth as you would think. It's not only the long travel, it's a bit complicated."

"So there were a number of elements that made me agree to that game. The outcome of course was not what I expected. But we won't break down. We're going to carry on, we're going to follow our plan, our direction. What happens now will be forgotten in June."

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