Socceroos head coach predicts a tight race for the number one jersey ahead of the World Cup.
Australia head coach Holger Osieck says Jose Mourinho promised goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer he wouldn’t be left to twiddle his thumbs on the Chelsea bench next season.
The 40-year-old moved to Stamford Bridge on a free transfer from west London rivals Fulham earlier this summer after being earmarked to provide serious competition for current Blues number one Petr Cech during the 2013/14 campaign.
Osieck claims he was told by Schwarzer that, prior to signing for the Europa League winners, Mourinho pledged he would be given ample opportunities to challenge Cech due to their heavy schedule.
“What he [Schwarzer] told me was when he agreed to sign for Chelsea, his signature was based on conversations with Mourinho, that he obviously promised to give him sufficient playing time because of the great number of games Chelsea has to play, in the league, in various cups and of course in Europe,” The 64-year-old told Sportal.
“Mark was very confident that there was a lot of honesty in Mourinho’s words.”
With the World Cup in Brazil less than a year away Osieck is anticipating a tough decision over which three goalkeepers will be on the plane with at least half a dozen custodians ready to stake their claim.
“I have three goalkeepers here and a couple more [to chose from],” Osieck added. “[Mitch] Langerak, with all his talent, he needs to play. He’s definitely a good keeper. Maty Ryan obviously made the first team of [Club] Brugge.
“Then we have a couple more in England, there’s [Adam] Federici and [Brad] Jones and then we have the domestic boys here. Mark Birighitti has shown promise and Nathan Coe had a good game against Liverpool.
“Eugene [Galekovic] has already showed what he can do, in particular the first game, when he was outstanding.
“So it’s going to be a tight race.”