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Osieck looks for World Cup pointers
By Ronnie Esplin
09:10 AEST Wed Aug 15 2012

Australia coach Holger Osieck will use the challenge match against Scotland as "a yardstick" before his side get back on the trail of the 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil.

The Socceroos, 22 FIFA ranking places above Craig Levein's men in 24th place, play Lebanon next in a friendly on September 6 before they resume their qualifying campaign away to Jordan five days later.

Australia have two points from two games in Group B of the Asia qualifying sector and Osieck will use the 90 minutes against the Scots on Wednesday night (Thursday morning AEST) as a gauge for his side's standing.

Speaking at the pre-match news conference at Easter Road, he said: "It is going to be a great challenge for us and a good yardstick for us to see where we stand.

"We are in the process of qualifying for the World Cup and we have important games coming up so it is a great opportunity for me to work with the boys.

"Last season at the same time we played Wales in Cardiff, which was a good challenge, and I expect a similar game against Scotland, to help build for the qualifiers in September and October.

"Being from Europe I am pretty familiar with the European football scene and I know that the Scottish team is decent and it is always tough to play them.

"They are always committed and give you a great game and that is what I'm looking for.

"If you look at the names in their squad, they all play at a decent level, the Premier League in England or Celtic here, so we know it is going to be a good game for us."

Osieck is likely to give debuts at some point during the game to Hearts defender Ryan McGowan and Heracles' Jason Davidson.

The Socceroos boss revealed he had been impressed with McGowan's progress last season.

"I don't consider them to be here for training and sharing the meals with us," Osieck said.

"I had Ryan in a scouting camp in Germany last year. He was a little bit raw then but he showed a great deal of commitment and a good understanding of the game.

"After that I followed him and he made it into the first team and played in the cup final.

"He has been quite successful and put in some decent performances so I decided to give him the opportunity to join our group and maybe he will get the opportunity to get on the pitch tomorrow."


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