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Rhys Williams coping with a club and country in flux

The centre-back has seen some major changes for his British side and the national team in recent weeks, but intends to take everything in his stride

Nothing stands still for too long in the fickle world of football. Just ask Rhys Williams.

Only a month ago the versatile Middlesbrough defender partnered Socceroos captain Lucas Neil in central defence as Holger Osieck's side endured a 6-0 thrashing at the hands of France.

Fast-forward a month and both Osieck and club manager Tony Mowbray have been sacked while Neill's reign as a captain and Socceroo hang in the balance.

"It's been quite a big change lately. Maybe I'm doing something wrong, getting everyone sacked," joked 25-year-old Williams at an Ange Postecoglou-led training camp in Sydney on Friday.

Results are everything and with club side Middlesbrough languishing around the bottom of the Championship, following three league wins from 12 matches, manager Tony Mowbray was shown the door to be replaced by former Real Madrid assistant Aitor Karanka.

"No, I haven't met the new manager but I know about his history and hopefully he can get us firing at club level," Williams said.

And it's a theme that he and an expectant Australian public will be hoping influences the national team too.

With both Karanka and incoming Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou known to favour a possession-based style of football, the talented Williams' mouth is watering at the prospect.

"I think that's what the modern game expects of people now," he said.

"I think a lot of centre halves have to be good with the ball and I think that will benefit me cause I'm more of a ball player than a tough tackler. So I think it will suit me nicely."

Williams has been touted among the possible replacements for Neill in defence should the veteran be jettisoned ahead of Brazil 2014.

However, the versatile player (who is adept as a central defender, defensive midfielder and right-back) indicated he isn't concerned with potential changes and has thrown his backing behind the Socceroos legend.

"As far as we're concerned Lucas is still our captain and he has been for a long time and he's been one of the best captain's I've played with.

"He's a role model to not only myself but to a lot of players and I've privileged to know him for a good few years and he's helped me along the way."

With Postecoglou set to unveil his side and captain to face Costa Rica in a friendly at Allianz stadium this Tuesday, Williams for one is relishing the future under the new regime.

"Ange is really well driven and it's what a lot of players like to see from the manager cause we get the confidence from that.

"We're really enjoying training and he's getting his picture across nicely and we all can't wait for the game now."

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