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Osieck hands skipper warning

February 06, 2013 11:48:29 UK

Socceroos coach Holger Osieck has made it clear he wants captain Lucas Neill to find a new club soon.

The 34-year-old has been handed a release by United Arab Emirati side Al-Wasl.

First and foremost, it affects himself, but down the road it's going to affect the national team as well.

Holger Osieck on Lucas Neill

And while the Australia coach has kept faith with his skipper for the friendly clash with Romania on Thursday, he has told Neill his place is in jeopardy unless he keeps playing club football.

Neill was dumped by Al-Wasl just six months after joining from Al Jazira. It leaves him to find a new home, and both Central Coast Mariners and Brisbane Roar are said to be interested.

Neill enjoyed two long spells with English clubs, playing 152 games with Millwall then 188 with Blackburn Rovers in the English Premier League.

Osieck said it was not important where he played his club football, so long as he continued to see regular action.

"First and foremost, it affects himself, but down the road it's going to affect the national team as well," he said.

"A player has to be in a regular playing rhythm, has to have a regular schedule and I hope he can resolve his situation pretty quickly."

Osieck is far from predicting the end of Neill's international career after 88 caps.

The defender has been picked for the Romania game even though the Socceroos coach is using the friendly to gauge form ahead of the crucial World Cup qualifier against Oman in March, for which Neill is suspended.

He gets his opportunity as both Sasa Ognenovski and Matthew Spiranovic are absent.

"In order to build a new situation and a new group, you need to have some experience that you can build around and therefore I decided to bring him in," said Osieck.

Australia are 3.10 to beat Romania, who are 2.50. The Socceroos are 8.50 to win 1-0.

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