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Mark Schwarzer won't force Brazil rethink: Ange Postecoglou

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Chelsea hold Atletico in Madrid

Aussie veteran goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer helps Chelsea keep Atletico Madrid scoreless, substituting for first-choice goalie Petr Cech who left the field with a serious shoulder injury.

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Mark Schwarzer has been suddenly thrust into the limelight of some of Europe's biggest football matches, but Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou says there will be no call for a World Cup rethink.

Schwarzer was handed a dream finish to the season on Wednesday when injury ruled Chelsea's No.1 goalkeeper Petr Cech out of the club's final push for English Premier League and Champions League honours.

The Socceroos great came on as replacement when Cech badly injured a shoulder early in Chelsea's 0-0 draw with Atletico Madrid in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final in Madrid.

Mark Schwarzer gets late chance to shine for Chelsea against Liverpool and Atletico Madrid.

Mark Schwarzer gets late chance to shine for Chelsea against Liverpool and Atletico Madrid. Photo: Getty Images

At 41, Schwarzer became the oldest player to feature in the knockout stages of the Champions League.

Signed as Cech's back up on a one-year deal, Schwarzer has barely featured in his first season at Chelsea since moving from Fulham though he did start in Saturday's 2-1 defeat at home to Sunderland.

But he'll now be front and centre in the club's most important, high pressure encounters, starting with a Premier League title-deciding game with leaders Liverpool at the weekend – they trail the Reds by five points – and then the second leg with Atletico next Wednesday at Stamford Bridge in London.

However, none of that means Postecoglou will be tempted to ask Schwarzer to reconsider and play in a third World Cup in June, despite playing a key role in getting the Socceroos to Brazil before announcing his international retirement last November.

With the likes of Club Brugge gloveman Mathew Ryan, fellow young gun Mitch Langerak at Borussia Dortmund and Liverpool reserve keeper Brad Jones in the mix to claim the Socceroos No.1 spot, Postecoglou feels he's well covered.

"Mark made his decision and we've moved on pretty quickly," Postecoglou told AAP on Wednesday.

"We've got a number of outstanding young goalkeepers in our ranks as it is.

"It's great to see Mark getting the chance to play but maybe the fact that he's retired from international duty is why he's still able to do it.

"Being in the national team is a pretty demanding schedule.

"Mark made the wise decision that if he's going to have a year or two more in domestic football he won't have the 24-hour long-haul flights that go with international duty."

While he survived some scares, Schwarzer kept a clean sheet after being called into action against Atletico Madrid, ensuring Chelsea have a home ground edge for the return leg.

"It happened very quickly, but I'm getting used to it," Schwarzer said of his call to action.

"I just tried to do my job but, like all the others, I was up for it.

"We knew if we could match their determination, our quality would shine through."

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho confirmed Cech's plight.

"Petr Cech's season is over. Don't ask me technically, but season over," Mourinho said.

In a double injury blow, Mourinho also revealed captain John Terry will be out for the rest of the Premier League season because of a foot injury suffered in the second half.

Unlike Cech, he could be fit if Chelsea reach the Champions League final on May 24.

Chelsea will also be without Frank Lampard and John Obi Mikel for the semi-final return leg due to suspension, and Atletico captain Gabi will miss the game after a yellow card.

AAP-AFP

 

AAP-AFP-AP 

2 comments so far

  • Schwarzer retired. There's no point asking Ange about it - the onus would be on Schwarzer to reconsider.

    Commenter
    Stephen
    Date and time
    April 24, 2014, 7:05AM
    • Ange. Knows what he is doing. He will get these Aussie boys to do us proud and build towards doing better in the next World Cup if given a long term role.

      Commenter
      Go Aussies
      Date and time
      April 24, 2014, 6:48PM

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