Rogic’s Celtic form a boost for Roos coach

Ed Jackson |

Tom Rogic will look to bring his strong Celtic form to the Socceroos for World Cup qualifying.
Tom Rogic will look to bring his strong Celtic form to the Socceroos for World Cup qualifying.

Happy and healthy, Tom Rogic’s imperious recent form for Celtic is set to be a welcome boost for the Socceroos ahead of vital World Cup qualifiers against Vietnam and Oman.

The attacking midfielder has been back to his influential best under Ange Postecoglou in recent weeks, scoring twice and setting up five more goals since the start of December in all competitions for the Scottish giants including an assist in the League Cup final win over Hibernian.

It’s a return to form that couldn’t have come at a better time for coach Graham Arnold as the Socceroos try to get their campaign back on track.

After two draws and a defeat in their past three matches, they sit outside the two automatic berths with four matches remaining in the third stage of Asian qualifying.

Rogic and fellow midfielder Aaron Mooy have both been included in Arnold’s squad to face Vietnam in Melbourne next week and then Oman in Muscat on February 1 after missing the draws with Saudi Arabia and China in December.

Rogic, 29, has struggled to find consistency during Arnold’s tenure at the Socceroos helm with niggling injuries often ruling him out of squads or limiting his game time but the coach expects the Canberra-born star to transition his club form into the international arena.

“He’s been doing obviously fantastic with Celtic and he’s very happy in his personal life and happy overall,” Arnold said.

“One of the tricks of being a great professional athlete or footballer is getting both lives, professional and personal, together.

“Tommy’s in great shape, he’s playing exceptionally well and I do expect that he will bring that form and that flair in the camp with us when he arrives.”

Australia’s squad will begin assembling in Melbourne over the coming days with German-based Adjin Hrustic to link up with the team in Muscat rather than travelling to Australia as he is suspended for the Vietnam game.