Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou is adamant Tim Cahill remains part of his World Cup plans after omitting the veteran striker from this month’s away qualifier against Thailand.
Postecoglou dropped a bombshell on Wednesday by leaving Cahill out of his final 23-man squad over fitness issues. The 36-year-old Melbourne City marquee missed last weekend’s A-League win over Adelaide with Achilles soreness.
But while he is likely to return on Friday night against Brisbane, Postecoglou opted to leave Cahill in Australia to recover fully instead of the risk of putting him through an intense 10-day training camp before the 15 November game in Bangkok.
It is the second time in 20 months an Achilles issue has forced him out of an international after also being sidelined for last March’s friendly with Germany.
It was an important factor given the in-form Tomi Juric suffered a knock last weekend playing for FC Luzern.
Ryan McGowan and Chris Ikonomidis were also dropped from the team that drew last month with Saudi Arabia and Japan, with Nathan Burns, Josh Risdon and Milos Degenek elevated alongside Maclaren. Luke Brattan, Tommy Oar, Jason Geria and Aziz Behich were trimmed from the 30-man line-up.