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Jun 7, 2013

Jedinak ready for Socceroo return

Socceroos midfielder Mile Jedinak says he is fit and ready to give coach Holger Osieck his biggest selection headache ahead of their must-win World Cup qualifier against Jordan on Tuesday night.

Jedinak has recovered from a rolled ankle sustained in Crystal Palace's English Premier League promotion playoff win which kept him out of the 1-1 draw with Japan last week.

A regular Socceroos starter, Jedinak's recovery means Osieck will have to decide whether to restore him to holding midfield ahead of Melbourne Victory's Mark Milligan, who starred as his replacement against Japan.

Milligan also plays his club football at Tuesday night's venue Etihad Stadium, a ground where the 27-year-old has excelled in the past for the Victory.

"When you come into these camps, there's always going to be selection headaches, and the boys did do well," Jedinak said on Saturday.

"He (Osieck) is going to have a headache, but all I can do is train well, and hopefully that's enough.

"I've had a few solid days here now, and I'm really looking forward to push on and play whatever part that may be.

"I'm training fully. The ankle's recovered quite well, and you do have to be wary with the travel, but I'm happy with how the ankle's been the past few days."

Mark Bresciano, who also played a central midfield role against Japan, looks certain to keep his place.

The Socceroos will need his ability to create and go forward from midfield if they want the win which will keep their World Cup qualification on track.

The question is whether Jedinak's imposing physical presence and organisational skills win out over Milligan's combativeness, ability to break down opposition attacks and home-ground knowledge.

Players say they have learned much from their shock 2-1 loss to Jordan in Amman last September, and believe taking their chances early is the key to success this time around.

"We didn't take our opportunities early on when we had them, we got exposed a couple of times, we got caught out of position a couple of times and we lost our discipline a little bit," goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer said.

"We conceded two very poor goals, but we should have still got a result out of the game. We kept pushing until the very last seconds, but we didn't do enough to get a result."

The Socceroos cancelled their afternoon training session on Saturday.

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