Caltex Socceroos coach Graham Arnold said Tom Rogic has had “full clearance from specialists” and will play in Friday’s crucial AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019™ clash against Palestine.
Midfield playmaker Rogic suffered a hand injury in Australia’s 1-0 defeat to Jordan in their tournament opener but took part in midweek training sessions before Arnold confirmed he would feature.
The news was not so good for Josh Risdon, though, with Arnold announcing in his pre-match press conference that the right-back would not feature due to a groin complaint.
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“I think it’s well noted that Josh Risdon is out,” Arnold told reporters.
“Andrew Nabbout will be back on the bench. [He is] still not 100 per cent fit. Tommy Rogic has had full clearance from specialists. He will play.”
Turning his attention to the match, Arnold was in a buoyant frame of mind.
“We’re very excited to be here. We’ve prepared very well for this game against Palestine,” he said.
“I’m expecting a great reaction from the players and the boys. We go into this game with a lot of confidence and a lot of belief and expectation to win.
“We know Palestine will be aggressive and it’s important that we win the battle as well.”
Arnold said a series of pre-tournament friendlies had the Caltex Socceroos ready for whatever Palestine threw at them in the clash.
“As preparation for our group stage, we played against Kuwait, we played against Lebanon, we played against Oman,” he added.
“So we played three Arab nations that play a very similar style to what Jordan, Palestine and Syria play.
“So we’re well prepared. We know what we’re expecting. And as I said, I expect a great performance tomorrow night.
“Nothing will phase us tomorrow night. We’ll go out and focus on our own performance as the most important thing.
“When you focus on your own performance then you expect a great performance.”
Arnold also provided an update on Martin Boyle, who recently underwent knee surgery in Scotland.
“Martin had the operation last night. Martin is recovering,” he said.
“We’ve been in touch with him, he’s in good spirits and we expect him to have a great recovery at Hibs and we’ll see him back with the Socceroos soon.”