Socceroos Test The Water With Viduka Call Up

Last updated : 09 March 2009 By Footy Mad - Editor

The 33-year-old striker failed to make the bench for Wednesday's 2-1 defeat to Manchester United.

But the Achilles problem which kept him out was described as a minor niggle and Socceroos coach Pim Verbeek is set to test the water with Newcastle.

The Aussies host Uzbekistan in a World Cup qualifier on April Fool's Day, with the Magpies facing Chelsea at St James's Park three days later.

Viduka is one of Australia's most experienced players with 43 caps, but none since the 2007 Asia Cup.

Verbeek: "The striking role's not been easy to fill with Mark Viduka not playing.

"Is he likely to come back for the Uzbekistan game?

"I really, really hope so. If Viduka shows me he is still the same player we know, there's no reason not to select him.

"So far he has never given me the idea that he's not interested anymore."