Osieck talks up duo
Socceroos coach Holger Osieck has highlighted the influence of Josh Kennedy and hinted at more playing time for Alex Brosque.
Kennedy and Brosque were among the 19 players named by Osieck on Tuesday for the October 7 friendly against Malaysia in Canberra and the World Cup qualifier in Sydney four days later.
In the post Mark Viduka-era, Kennedy has invariably been the striker of choice for first Pim Verbeek and now Osieck. He has scored three of Australia's five goals in their two World Cup qualifiers against Thailand and Saudi Arabia to give him a tally of 12 in 26 internationals.
Osieck produced a startling statistic that underlined how profound an influence the 30-year-old Nagoya Grampus forward has had on Australia's goalscoring fortunes in the last three matches he has started.
"We scored eight goals in these games, he scored five and was very instrumental in two more," Osieck said. "The only goal he didn't have any impact on was when he had already left the field so he couldn't have any impact anyway.
"When you have eight goals and you have a major impact on seven, it's an enormous percentage."
Brosque, 27, came off the bench to score a late winner in the first World Cup qualifier against Thailand - his first international goal in seven appearances. Osieck said he wanted to use the Malaysia game to take a longer look at some players and hinted Shimizu S-Pulse striker Brosque would be one of those.
"He has had three games within my era and only more or less short term," Osieck said. "When he came on he scored the winning goal against Thailand, that was a bonus of course.
"Secondly I'm following the Japanese league very closely. He is a regular, he scores regularly. I think now it's about time to give him a full game and see how he does on this level and I think he deserves it."
Apart from midfielder and occasional striker Tim Cahill, Kennedy has been Australia's most reliable and consistent provider of goals in recent years. Osieck sprung a surprise in the last World Cup qualifier, benching Cahill and playing the increasingly influential Brett Holman in a more advanced role.
He said he had explained to Cahill the tactical reason for his decision and stressed the Everton star remained a cornerstone of his team.