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Jun 8, 2012

Osieck unsure of Cahill's fitness

Is Socceroos coach Holger Osieck trying to send Tim Cahill a message?

He just might be.

The star striker was not even called off the bench for Australia in their 0-0 draw with Oman in Friday's World Cup qualifying match in Muscat.

And the German manager finished the match with a substitution up his sleeve.

Cahill was one of the first names picked in the national team as recently as September last year.

However his services were not required at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex with Archie Thompson called into action to replace Harry Kewell up front on the hour mark.

When asked post-match about Cahill's omission from the starting side, Osieck said he wasn't convinced about the Everton star's fitness.

The coach praised the attitude of players such as Archie Thompson, who attended a training camp in London before last week's friendly in Copenhagen.

"The starting eleven was based on my impressions during training," Osieck said.

"I have been together with a couple of boys for almost three weeks and you see them on a daily basis and you expect something.

"Some others, like Josh (Kennedy) he joined the team pretty late.

"Timmy joined us late.

"So I wasn't quite sure of their physical status, if it was sufficient."

Osieck's reservations about Kennedy could be the result of the big striker having had a stop-start season in the J-League to date.

Cahill has not played much either, having only had about an hour on the pitch in the past month.

The Everton star returned to Australia to conduct coaching clinics for a fortnight last month following the end of the English Premier League season.

While he was putting youngsters through their paces, the likes of Thompson were putting their best foot forward in front of the national boss.

With a tough turnaround for Tuesday's clash against Japan, it will be interesting to see whether Cahill is able to convince Osieck he is worthy of selection for the Brisbane clash.

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