SOCCEROOS Coach Holger Osieck will pull out all stops to resolve the ongoing left back conundrum facing the national team ahead of next year’s World Cup in Brazil.
Jason Davidson and Shane Lowry are firmly on the radar and Osieck has left the door open for David Carney to return to the fold after almost a year out of the game.
Carney,29, recently joined Aussie Tim Cahill at the New York Red Bulls in the MLS. Davidson, 22, plays for Heracles Almelo in the Dutch top flight and is considered one for the future.
All three players are absent from the 22-player squad named to take on Brazil’s Selecao on September 7, but Osieck said he was closely monitoring Davidson and 24-year-old Lowry, who lines up for English Championship side Millwall.
“We have them on the list,” the German tactician said of the two younger players.
“That is part of our plan that we are going to have very intensive scouting between the games in September, October and November in Europe.
“Myself and my colleagues, Aurelio (Vidmar) and Robbie Hooker, will be there and we’re going to monitor them, we’re going to go to their games, we’re going to go to their training.
"So we can’t leave any stone unturned there.”
He also left the door open for Carney to make a remarkable return to the green and gold adding: “It’s pretty good that he finally got his feet back on the football pitch and to play in the MLS is definitely not a bad option.
“I’m following him very closely and we’ll see how he does. But he’s not off the loop. If he performs and he plays regularly he still could be another candidate.”
One player likely to get his long-awaited Socceroos debut next week is 25-year-old Borussia Dortmund goalkeeper Mitch Langerak.
Osieck said he been giving careful consideration to giving the Bundesliga player his first cap.
“He has been with us on a number of occasions and in order to really find out what he can do he should get the opportunity to get on the pitch,” he said.
But that didn’t mean veteran shot stopper Mark Schwarzer’s position as number one is under threat. The 40-year-old recently left Fulham for Chelsea but the Socceroos coach is confident he will get plenty of game time at Stamford Bridge as back-up to Petr Cech.
“The season in England is still relatively young and there’s a lot of games coming up particularly for a team like Chelsea,” Osieck added.
“They play in various competitions and I discussed it with Mark and obviously (coach Jose) Mourinho. He definitely will give him enough playing time to keep his good standards.”
The Aussie World Cup squad is far from finalised with the head coach making it clear there were opportunities for last minute bolters to book their ticket to Brazil.
“I’m still in the place where we’re trying to find out who’s going to be okay,” he said. “We still have a number of test matches ahead of us and after a sequence of these matches I will make up my mind.
“There’s going to be other players who will get opportunities to show whether they are ready for the team. We are still in the phase of testing to get the right players together.
But there seems little hope of Millwall striker, Scott McDonald, forcing his way into World Cup contention. The 30-year-old has gone public with his desire to be there for the game’s showpiece event but Osieck clearly has his sights on other attacking options, including rising Central Coast Mariners star Mitch Duke, 22.
“I don’t know yet (but) I think when you look at the players I selected for Brazil (friendly) I think we’re well positioned for forward positions with Tim (Cahill), with (Josh) Kennedy and even Mitch Duke,” he said. “I think we’re in a pretty good situation.”