Australia internationals who missed out on the friendly against Brazil could still earn a World Cup berth after the national team coach denied claims his squad was already decided
Holger Osieck says the players overlooked for the Socceroos squad to face Brazil next month should not give up hope of going to the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
Australia's coach has picked close to a full-strength group for the friendly in Brasilia on September 7, prompting suggestions he already knows which players will be making the trip to the showcase event in South America next year.
However, when asked if the 22-man roster selected for the run-out against the Selecao was likely to be chosen again for the tournament itself, he said: "No, definitely not. I'm still in the phase where we're trying to find out who is going to be OK.
"We still have a number of test [friendly] matches ahead of us. After these matches I will make up my mind.
"There's going to be other players who will get opportunities to show whether they are ready for the team so we are still in the phase of testing to get the right players together."
Osieck also expressed his displeasure at the trend of Australian players accepting contracts in the United Arab Emirates and Qatar, after Brett Holman's move from Aston Villa to Al Nasr in June incurred the wrath of supporters and media alike.
"That is always the same old story for the Middle East, you know my position," he said.
"I don't want to be disrespectful but if players have the opportunity to play in one of the top leagues in Europe - England, Germany, Holland, whatever, then that would be my preference."
Several in-form players on the fringes of the national team missed on the squad for the Brazil friendly, but Osieck confirmed the likes of Jason Davidson, Shane Lowry and Oliver Bozanic would all be under the microscope in the months ahead.
"We have them on the list," he said.
"That is part of our plan, that we're going to have very intense scouting between the games in September, October and November, in Europe.
"Myself and my colleagues [assistant coaches] Aurelio [Vidmar] and Hooksey [Robbie Hooker] will be there and we're going to go to their games, we're going to go to their training. We can't leave any stone unturned."