Postecoglou defensive as he names squad for World Cup decider

Australia coach Ange Postecoglou was in a feisty mood as he named his 25-man squad for November’s 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying playoff against Honduras on Tuesday.

Having failed to secure automatic qualification, the Socceroos now need to see off Honduras over two legs on November 10 and 15 to seal their place at Russia 2018.

Given Australia were widely expected to have secured qualification earlier, Postecoglou has found himself under plenty of pressure and there has been speculation over his future regardless of whether he leads his side to Russia next summer.

On Tuesday, the 52-year-old faced the media for the first time since they beat Syria in the Asian zone playoffs as he unveiled his list of 25 players for the upcoming clashes, and was unsurprisingly in defiant mood when quizzed about his the longevity of his tenure.

“I’m happy to have that discussion when we qualify,” said Postecoglou. “If we don’t qualify… my future is absolutely certain.

“I’m not going to waste time thinking about things that might or might not happen. The most important thing is these two games.

“Nothing beyond qualifying for the World Cup and getting the team ready to do that is important to me.”

“You know what, I know what my legacy is – it’s not going to depend on one result.

“I hope my legacy will be that I’m someone who believed in something.”

Postecoglou will be boosted by the return of captain Mile Jedinak, one of three inclusions along with Rosenborg defender Alex Gersbach and Sturm Graz midfielder James Jeggo.

With Mark Milligan and Mathew Leckie suspended for the first leg in San Pedro Sula, the Australia side for both matches will consist of 25 players although only 23 can be involved in the match day squad.

Goalkeepers: Mitch Langerak (Levante), Mathew Ryan (Brighton), Danny Vukovic (Genk)

Defenders: Aziz Behich (Bursaspor), Milos Degenek (Yokohama F. Marinos), Alex Gersbach (Rosenborg), Craig Goodwin (Sparta Rotterdam), Matthew Jurman (Suwon Samsung Bluewings), Ryan McGowan (Al Sharjah), Josh Risdon (Western Sydney Wanderers), Trent Sainsbury (Jiangsu Suning), Bailey Wright (Bristol City)

Midfielders: Jackson Irvine (Hull City), Mile Jedinak (Aston Villa), James Jeggo (Sturm Graz), Massimo Luongo (QPR), Mark Milligan, James Troisi (both Melbourne Victory), Aaron Mooy (Huddersfield), Tom Rogic (Celtic)

Forwards: Tim Cahill (Melbourne City), Tomi Juric (Luzern), Robbie Kruse (Bochum), Mathew Leckie (Hertha Berlin), Nikita Rukavytsya (Maccabi Haifa)

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