Tom Rogic’s Celtic renaissance spells peril for Oman in Friday morning’s (AEST) World Cup qualifier, according to Socceroos teammate and close confidante Ryan McGowan.
The cultured playmaker has made 12 appearances in all competitions so far this season after reuniting with Ange Postecoglou at Celtic Park.
And the belief and buoyancy are back under his former Australia mentor, after he was left to linger on the periphery by predecessor Neil Lennon.
Rogic's revival portends plenty of pitfalls in Doha for third-placed Oman and the Group B leaders.
“Everybody knows the calibre of player he is, and a fit and firing Tom Rogic Is a pleasure to watch and to count as a team mate," McGowan told FTBL.
“It’s good to see him injury free and stringing together games for his club.
“It’s probably gone unnoticed a bit but it’s great that he's moving freely after what was a bit of a stop-start period in his career.
“He has the touch and the vision, and there’s not many players like him in Australia. When he’s in full flow it’s difficult to stop him.
“But we need all our creative players to be on song, not only Tom but the likes of Martin Boyle, Awer Mabil and Mitch Duke.”
With 47 caps, Rogic, 28, is closing in on the half century, with the visit to Japan in six days another opportunity en route to the milestone.
“When that moment comes it’s something he should be really proud of, and as one of his mates I’ll be really happy for him considering everything he’s achieved in his career so far,” added McGowan.
“Ange taking over at Celtic has made a big difference for him. Last season was a bit difficult and he was maybe playing when he possibly shouldn’t have been due to the circumstances around the club at that time.
"Your performances probably suffer a little bit from that. But he’s had a good break and he’s fit and flying - not only for Celtic but also the national team.”
Former Hearts and Sydney FC stopper McGowan, 32, will return to the Middle East after the international break to his new home with Kuwait SC - the 12th pit-stop of his 13 year career.
He is competing with Harry Souttar, Trent Sainsbury and Bailey Wright for a start, and concedes a place on the bench might be more likely.
“The boss (Graham Arnold) isn’t giving too many clues away but I’m feeling good and I’m more than ready if called upon,” he said.
"It’s very difficult to break into a team that has been doing so well (on the back of 10 straight World Cup wins), especially in my position because the back four have been very solid.”
Not that the Socceroos are wasting time patting each other on the back.
“We’re not too worried what we’ve done in the past - we’re just focused on Oman and winning that game,” he said.
Celtic fans react to Rogic-Kyogo face off, future missed matches
Postecoglou: 'Extremely talented' Rogic fits my style 'absolutely'
Rogic prioritises Celtic over Socceroos: 'It won't be held against him'
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