January 12, 2015 – 1:59PM
Ivan Franjic (centre) says there are “a lot of boys” who can fill Mile Jedinak’s role. Photo: Getty Images
Socceroos defender Ivan Franjic says there are plenty of players vying to replace injured captain Mile Jedinak ahead of Tuesday’s Asian Cup match against Oman.
Jedinak twisted his left ankle in the first half of Friday night’s 4-1 tournament-opening win against Kuwait at Melbourne’s AAMI Park, but played out the game.
Franjic says although their skipper has a strong presence on the field, whoever fills the gap will be up to the task.
“Mile Jedinak is a big loss. He’s our captain and he’s a great leader,” he said.
“(But) there’s a lot of boys in this team who can fill that role.”
Oman are the No.93-ranked team (seven places higher than Australia), but Franjic says his side won’t change their tactics and will stick with their aggressive style.
“They’re a good counter-attacking team,” he said.
“We’ll keep our up-tempo game, high pressing and really try to hit them early,” he said.
Franjic, who made his Socceroos debut in 2012, joined Russian team Torpedo Moscow last year after an extensive career with A-League outfit Brisbane.
The 27-year-old said he’d shaken off the hamstring injury he picked up following Australia’s group-stage loss to Chile in the World Cup last year, declaring playing back-to-back games would not be a worry.
“I had a good preparation pre-tournament. Obviously the Russian league finished early and I had a good pre-season so … I’ll be ready and raring to go,” Franjic told Sky Sports Radio.
“We’ve been recovering well so there should be no excuses at all.”
Australia play Oman at Sydney’s ANZ Stadium at 8pm (AEDT) on Tuesday, then South Korea in Brisbane on Saturday.
Source : The Canberra Times