Australia captain Lucas Neill has urged coach Holger Osieck to unleash recalled midfielder Mark Bresciano on Saudi Arabia in Wednesday's FIFA World Cup™ qualifier.
Bresciano has been a star performer for United Arab Emirates club Al Nasr since making the switch from Lazio in August, scoring eight goals in 11 matches. The 32-year-old was named in an extended 19-man squad on Tuesday, marking the first time he has featured since Osieck took over the reins in 2010.
Neill, who also plies his trade in the Pro-League for Al Jazira, was glowing in his praise of his former team-mate.
"He's been brilliant," said Neill. "He's really enjoying his football and I hope you get the chance to see that on Wednesday. He has scored eight goals from centre midfield, and that's not easy to do regardless of the opinion people have of the league that you're playing in.
"Eight goals from a centre midfielder is a great achievement and I'm sure he's not done yet. I hope he can get a chance to play and take that chance because he's a valuable asset to the Socceroos, he's still got a lot to offer and his experience could add a dimension that we need as a Socceroos team trying to go to Brazil."
There's only enough room for 23 players and there's probably 50 to choose from at the moment.
Neill added of Bresciano's response when informed of his selection: "He maybe had that belief that it was never going to happen again and that maybe his ship had sailed and he was like a kid being picked for the first time I suppose, and that's great.
"It's great to have that enthusiasm at his age and I'm no different, I just hope that the younger generation of Socceroos show the same enthusiasm and passion when they get picked for their country."
Neill, who has scored four goals of his own this season, is also upbeat about the state of his own game.
"I feel good, I feel strong, I'm in a good environment now where I can control my training and control how I feel every day of the week, I've got a manager that supports that," he said.
"As long as I come back and I can still compete at a level for Australia then I'll consider it to be a very good season on a personal note."
Meanwhile, the skipper put his players on notice ahead of next Wednesday's clash, insisting there is no such thing as a dead rubber.
"We've got to make sure we don't show complacency, this game is another game that everybody has to be in Holger's mind, everybody has to be pushing for a start, knowing that maybe there's another ten guys that aren't here now that are going to come back in," Neill said.
"There's only enough room for 23 players and there's probably 50 to choose from at the moment."
The Socceroos have already sealed their passage to the next round of qualifying, but their opponents must win on Wednesday to progress