Verbeek prepares for tough decisions - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Verbeek prepares for tough decisions

By Guy Hand 31/05/2010 02:58:39 PM Comments (0)

Midfielder Mark Bresciano says tension building among the Socceroos is a good thing as Pim Verbeek prepares to pick his final 23-man World Cup squad on Tuesday.

Verbeek will define careers and shatter dreams by jettisoning five of the 28 players he has in camp after Tuesday's friendly against Denmark in Roodepoort.

Young midfielders Tommy Oar and James Holland and fourth goalkeeper Eugene Galekovic have already been told they are unlikely to be in the World Cup squad unless there is a spate of injuries, meaning two players will feel an unexpected axe.

One defender and one midfielder are likely to get Verbeek's tap on the shoulder - the only two areas there is fat to trim within a squad needing three goalkeepers and light on recognised strikers.

Bresciano admits the intensity and tension are building both in training at the pre-World Cup camp in Johannesburg and among the players as they wonder where the axe will fall.

"But that's a positive thing," Bresciano said.

"It keeps everyone on their toes, fit and sharp at training, focused on the team and doing well.

"I think it's positive. And the coach is going to have his problems because everyone's fit and doing well."

Bresciano has trained strongly in South Africa, proving he is back to 100 per cent health after back problems cruelled the latter half of his Italian Serie A season with Palermo.

Now he just needs match fitness - and is hoping for a full 90 minutes' game time against Denmark to build his reserves going into the World Cup.

"I definitely feel the sharpness coming back, and within the team as well," he said.

"Against New Zealand, a few of us probably weren't in the best physical condition from the heavy (training) load, the travelling, and other things we had to do in Melbourne which took a bit of time.

"We've knuckled down here and things are looking very good."

Verbeek will keep the cotton wool wrapped around star attacker Harry Kewell and midfielder Brett Emerton - refusing to risk them against Denmark.

But several fringe players should see game time, including Middlesbrough defender Rhys Williams, who missed the 2-1 win over New Zealand last week because of injury.

Also likely to play is striker Josh Kennedy, who missed the All Whites match because of back tightness.

Kennedy has been in full training since arriving in South Africa and has declared himself ready to play a leading role against Denmark if picked.

"It's always good to be back with the boys and in training," Kennedy said.

"I'm good and have had no problems, and I'm looking forward to the games coming up."

Verbeek will use Saturday's friendly against the United States - also at Roodepoort - to unveil his best available 11 going into the June 13 World Cup opener against Germany.

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