Socceroo winger Robbie Kruse may have to think of other club options if he doesn’t start getting regular game time, says Australian coach Ange Postecoglou.
After being injured during Australia’s 2015 Asian Cup victory, Kruse recovered to find regular football at the end of last season’s German Bundesliga.
However, the speedstar has only featured twice for Bayer Leverkusen this campaign and those appearances came in the German Cup.
The Socceroos boss did admit that if the 28-year-old doesn’t start playing more consistency then the winger may have to start thinking of other possibilities.
“Kruse hasn’t been playing a lot and that is fair,” he said. “I guess from our perspective we’d love to see him play more and if that situation doesn’t change by January it is something he’ll have to look at.”
While Kruse may be struggling for game time in Europe, he is viewed as a key member of the Socceroos and Postecoglou said the attacker's performance for the national team made him an asset.
“He is a very, very important part of what we do,” he said.
“The flip side of that (not playing regular club football) is he hasn’t played much coming into any of these games and he’s done really well for us in the internationals he has played. He’s been pretty good at making sure that he’s conditioning is at the highest possible level. Our data show that in games like the UAE and Saudi Arabia he got through an enormous amount of work load."
Another recent member of the Socceroos who hasn’t been playing regular football is Apo Gianou. But unlike Kruse, the Guangzhou R&F striker was left out of the squad to face Thailand in the upcomming World Cup qualifier with Postecoglou preferring Jamie Maclaren instead.
“From my perspective that was the last game of the Chinese Super League on the weekend,” he said. “So they won’t have played again for three weeks by the time we get there (to Thailand) and he hasn’t played regular football.
“With Timmy pulling out and Tomi Juric got a bit of nock last week he might be back for this weekend’s game and he might not have played for a couple of weeks. I was mindful of bring in a striker who was fit.”
And despite of Tim Cahill's unavailability and other members of the Socceroos not playing regular football, Postecoglou denied he was pushed to use the depth in his squad.
“It doesn’t force us,” he said. “That is what I’ve been trying to do since I took over. We don’t want to be relying on just individuals every time we name a squad. I’m certainly more comfortable these days than I was in the early days when was coaching the team and that there are options there.
“Whilst we’d love to have to have Timmy there or whoever I know that we can bring guys who have already been exposed to the system and we already know can do a job for us at this level.”