Socceroos veteran Mark Bresciano says he'd love to be named captain for next week's match but expects long-time skipper Lucas Neill to fight for the armband.

Neill will fight for armband: Bresciano

November 11, 2013
By Angela Habashy

Mark Bresciano expects Lucas Neill to fight for the captain's armband but admits it would be the icing on the cake of a long career if he is called to lead the Socceroos next week.

Coach Ange Postecoglou is yet to name a captain for next Tuesday's international friendly against Costa Rica at Allianz Stadium.

Long-time skipper Neill while named in Postecoglou's 22-man squad, is by no means assured of ever leading the side again, with fellow veterans Tim Cahill or Bresciano likely replacements.

Neill was heavily criticised for his reaction after the Socceroos suffered their back-to-back 6-0 losses to Brazil and then France recently, calling himself a "victim" and largely blaming the team's youngsters for the poor showing.

The losses ultimately resulted in coach Holger Osieck's sacking and lead to calls for Neill to retire.

By contrast Bresciano was hailed for his honest response and called a true leader as he took responsibility, apologising to the nation and vowing to turn things around.

But while eyeing the honour of leading the Socceroos out on the pitch next week, Bresciano knows Neill won't go down without a fight.

"I think he's got every right to fight for it," the 33-year-old said on Tuesday.

"He's been the captain for so long and he's done a very good job for the national team so we have to respect that.

"It's nice to hear that my name has been put around.

"Of course, if you ask any player in the national team it would be a great honour.

"Just being part of the national team for so long and to end it this way would be the icing on the cake for me."

The squad had their first training session under Postecoglou on Tuesday and while some members are yet to arrive in Sydney Bresciano, who currently plays for Qatari club Al-Gharafa, said the new coach is already putting them through their paces.

Having been part of the Socceroos set up since making his debut in 2001 Bresciano has been seen numerous coaches at the helm and says there is already a sense of heightened enthusiasm among the squad under Postecoglou.

"We all know that he's a very dedicated coach, he's a winner," the veteran of 72 caps said.

"He loves to play good football, which I think the players are looking forward to because we haven't been playing the best football in the past couple of games.

"It was only a short session this morning with only eight players but you can see already that it was a more intense session and a lot more with the ball which as players we enjoy more.

"The enthusiasm has increased with a new coach coming in which I think was something that we really needed."


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