Jedinak boosts Socceroos selection chances with impressive comeback

Australia captain Mile Jedinak has boosted his chance of being selected for the Socceroos' upcoming World Cup qualifiers with an impressive comeback from injury in Aston Villa's 2-0 loss to Championship leaders Newcastle United.

Mile Jedinak

Newcastle United's Mohyamed Diame and Aston Villa's Mile Jedinak battle for the ball. Source: AAP

Jedinak, who had been sidelined for over a month with a groin injury, was rushed straight back into the starting side and played 71 minutes before being replaced.

Just four days ago Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou revealed Jedinak was "touch and go" to play against Iraq and United Arab Emirates in March's crucial qualifiers, but Postecoglou will be pleased to see Jedinak back in action.

While the result was not a positive one for Villa, Jedinak impressed with 45 touches in midfield before being substituted in the second half, with coach Steve Burce hailing his return. 

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"Mile Jedinak gives our defenders protection - and he's a man in there. It was good to see him back," Bruce said. 

Jedinak had missed Villa's last five matches and with Postecoglou admitting last week the 32-year-old could be left out of his upcoming squad.

"He's missed a lot of football so far and we're two weeks away from selecting the squad," the coach said on Friday.

"We'd need him to play at some point between now and selection to be a chance."

The 2-0 victory meant that Newcastle return to the top of the table thanks to Yoan Gouffran's first-half opener and a Henri Lansbury own goal. 

Steve Bruce's side – who suffered a further blow when Scott Hogan was taken off injured – have not won in the league since Boxing Day, leaving them dwelling in 16th, six points clear of the relegation zone.




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2 min read
Published 21 February 2017 at 11:41am
Source: SBS