Football 3 years ago

Fired up Socceroo Jedinak itching to play

  • Fired up Socceroo Jedinak itching to play

Socceroos skipper Mile Jedinak is back - and he's angry.

Jedinak will drive Australia's midfield against Kyrgyzstan in Thursday's crucial World Cup qualifier in Canberra, before taking on Bangladesh most likely in Dhaka next Tuesday.

The 31-year-old missed the last three qualifiers through injury but his return is timely, given the Socceroos can ill-afford to hit anymore bumps on the road to Russia.

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"The one thing you can't fast track is experience," coach Ange Postecoglou said of his captain.

"A lot these of guys, it is the first World Cup qualifying campaign. Mile has been through it before and he is the captain.

"To have him back is great, and to have him back in the angry mood that he is in is even better."

Jedinak was raring to go on Wednesday, declaring he had a "full tank mate, a full tank".

He's not wrong, having been on the outer this season at English Premier League side Crystal Palace thanks to the presence of Frenchman Yohan Cabaye.

But he played the full 90 minutes in Palace's 5-1 League Cup loss to Manchester City two weeks ago, and it's only made him hungry for more.

"I'm just ready and keen to get out there," Jedinak said.

"I missed the last two camps, and can't remember the last time I missed back-to-back camps.

"So you can imagine watching the results, seeing the match (against Bangladesh) in Perth then the away game (with Tajikistan), and not being able to go to Jordan was really disappointing.

"But now that I am here I am enjoying every minute and will continue to do so, because it's always exciting being with this group and in this environment.

"And playing at home, who doesn't love that?"

The last match Jedinak played for the Socceroos was June's opener in Bishkek with Kyrgyzstan, a largely unknown team that gave them a scare on the counter-attack.

He was adamant Australia were not in the business of undervaluing lower-ranked teams and wouldn't be starting on Thursday.

"Any game when it's a World Cup qualifier it's always going to be tough. You never go into a game underestimating anybody.

"We are learning, we're not there yet. Not every game going to go as we like it.

"At times we'll be under pressure, and it's how you deal with it and counteract it."

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