The Socceroos have lost Luke Wilkshire and Tommy Oar to injury as officials step up their search for a new coach to replace the sacked Holger Osieck.

Socceroos lose duo as coach hunt starts

October 12, 2013
By Steve Larkin and Liam FitzGibbon

Australia's beleaguered soccer team have lost two players to injury as the search steps up for a coach to replace the sacked Holger Osieck.

Luke Wilkshire and Tommy Oar have been released from the under-siege Socceroos' squad to play Canada in London mid-week.

Wilkshire was substituted after playing 70 minutes in Australia's 6-0 loss to France in Paris on Saturday, after which head coach Osieck was sacked.

Wilkshire has been carrying a knee injury and will return to his club Dinamo Moscow for treatment.

Oar missed the Paris defeat, having failed a pre-game fitness test on his injured back. He will return to his club FC Utrecht for rehabilitation.

The Socceroos won't add any players to their squad for the friendly against Canada at Craven Cottage in London on Tuesday night (Wednesday morning AEDT).

Assistant coach Aurelio Vidmar will take charge of the team following Osieck's departure just eight months before the World Cup finals in Brazil.

But Vidmar is unlikely to win the job as Osieck's permanent replacement, with Football Federation Australia chief executive David Gallop saying feelers have already been put out to several candidates.

Dutchman Guus Hiddink, who steered Australia's 2006 World Cup campaign, is believed to be at the top of Gallop's list, with Australian coaches Ange Postecoglou and Graham Arnold also in the frame.

"It certainly makes sense to have an Australian coach but whether that makes sense right now, is something we need to look at seriously over the next few weeks," Gallop told AAP in Paris on Saturday.

"... It's not appropriate to go into who has been contacted and who hasn't but obviously some feelers have been put out.

"We're always exploring options and, at the moment, that's all we're doing.

"We'll hopefully have some definitive answers on that over the next few weeks.

"Certainly it's something we want to get along with straight away."

Gallop said whoever was appointed would have a strong focus on the Socceroos' long-term success, along with a competitive showing at next year's World Cup.

"This is about the need to rejuvenate, regenerate our team," Gallop said, adding there was an opportunity for a new coach to make significant changes before Brazil.

"We've got a lot to look forward to in the next months and years.

"Obviously Brazil is important, as is the Asian Cup 2015, and ultimately we want to be at the next World Cup as well. This is a decision taken in the long-term interests of the team."


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