Football: Socceroos skipper Jedinak no certainty to face S. Korea in final group game

SYDNEY (REUTERS) - Socceroos skipper Mile Jedinak might not be fit for Australia's crunch Asian Cup group A fixture against South Korea at the weekend, coach Ange Postecoglou said on Monday.

The ankle injury suffered by the midfielder in the 4-1 victory over Kuwait on Friday means he will definitely be unavailable for Tuesday's clash against Oman at Sydney's Stadium Australia.

"He's no certainty for Saturday either at this stage, so we'll see how he recovers, but we're certainly fairly hopeful that he'll overcome it pretty quickly," Postecoglou told reporters outside the team hotel. "We've had scans done, so there's nothing significant there. It's just a matter of letting the swelling settle down and getting back running."

Jedinak's injury means Postecoglou will have to change the team which ultimately got the host nation's campaign under way in fine fashion despite conceding an early goal in Melbourne.

Mark Milligan or Matt McKay look likely to take over as the single holding player in the Australian midfield, although moving Matthew Spiranovic up from his defensive duties is another option. "We've got two or three options," the coach said.

"When we selected the squad we wanted to have a good balance, particularly in attack and midfield because that's where we'll have most rotation."

Postecoglou said he would have tinkered with his team in any case after his experience at last year's World Cup taught him a valuable lesson about tournament play.

"We'll use the majority of the squad in these games so that the team we put out there is capable of putting in the physical effort required," he added.

"We learnt pretty clearly at the World Cup by the third game against Spain we were pretty spent as a group because we relied on a core group of players. "We don't want to fall into the same trap. We want to do well in all three games and tomorrow night is a very, very important game for us."

Oman, who lost their opener 0-1 to the South Koreans, held a 2-0 lead before the Socceroos clawed back to secure a 2-2 draw when they last played Australia in Sydney in March 2013.

"We're expecting a tough one, they are always very difficult opposition for us," said Postecoglou. "I'd rather we didn't get off to a slow start. But the important thing for us is that, although we conceded a disappointing goal (against Kuwait), we didn't let it effect the way we went about the game."

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