Chelsea goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer has been dropped from the 24-player provisional Socceroos squad for the October friendlies against France and Canada.
• Duerden: End nigh for Osieck?
But Socceroos boss Holger Osieck was quick to back the 40-year-old gloveman as his number one for next year’s World Cup.
Schwarzer’s omission was the major shock of the squad announced at FFA headquarters in Sydney, with Borussia Dortmund’s Mitchell Langerak and Club Brugge custodian Mat Ryan given their chance to shine.
Schwarzer switched to Chelsea from Fulham in the last transfer window, a move that has cost him a regular starting spot with Czech international Petr Cech the undisputed number one at the London club.
However, Schwarzer is expected to start in Chelsea's Capital One Cup match against Swindon Town on Tuesday.
But despite admitting he would like Schwarzer to be enjoying more game time, Osieck was confident the ‘keeper would be ready for Brazil 2014.
“At the present stage, yes,” Osieck answered when asked if Schwarzer would remain his number one for the World Cup. “(But) in particular, a goalkeeper needs regular playing time.
“I know what (Schwarzer) can do and his status in the team. He’s our number one goalkeeper, but if I keep playing him, what about the others we may need?
“I had a chat with him … and we discussed the situation and he told me about his present status.
“He’s getting, getting definitely playing time and hopefully he’s going to be a regular again. You never know, injuries can happen, the first ‘keeper (Petr) Cech might be out of form.”
However, Schwarzer’s Australian understudies now have the chance to impress with Langerak signalled out for special mention as a certain starter for at least one of the upcoming games.
“Mitch Langerak deserves minimum one game because he was a very good servant for our team,” Osieck said.
“He is a good goalkeeper, he just got another good game in the Champions League for his home team, so I think it’s about time for him to show what he can do for our team.”
Meanwhile, David Carney returns to the team along with Tim Cahill, Luke Wilkshire, Jason Davidson and Nikita Rukavytsya, while there were call-ups for the untested duo of Oliver Bozanic and Jackson Irvine.
Carney in particular has another opportunity to impress for the Socceroos after returning to first-team football with the New York Red Bulls.
And Osieck is hoping the 29-year-old is his “good luck charm” as the German coach searches for a solution to the squad’s problematic left-back position.
“There have been some issues on the left flank, be it attacking wise, be it defending wise,” Osieck said. “Carney, which is very good, now plays regularly with his new team, and it’s pretty funny, that since he played, they never lost a game.
“So maybe he’s a good luck charm and maybe a good luck charm for us as well.”