Socceroos' Massimo Luongo still inspired by Bresciano
MASSIMO Luongo is hoping Mark Bresciano will stay around for a few years yet so he can keep learning how to play in the No.10 role the Socceroos veteran has made his own over the past few years.
Luongo, who plies his trade for Swindon Town in the third tier of English football, played 30 minutes as Bresciano's replacement in the 2-0 defeat to Belgium last week.
It was his first time playing in that position for either club or country but the 21-year-old, born to an Indonesian mother and an Italian father, said he relished the challenge, especially after earning praise for his showing against the Belgians from coach Ange Postecoglou and Bresciano himself.
He is likely to get a chance to start in tomorrow morning's (AEST) friendly against Asian Cup rival Saudi Arabia at Fulham's Craven Cottage ground in London with Bresciano likely to get a rest and he can't wait to get more game time.
"That's nice to hear," Luongo said of the praise, "Especially as I have made only two appearances.
"Coming on for Bresh (Bresciano) ... they are massive boots to fill, just watching him you can never see a cooler guy than Bresh.
"If I can get good reviews from him then that's a bonus but there's still lots of stuff still to add to my game and if Bresh stays on for a few more years then I can take a few more things from him."
Postecoglou is likely to give most of his squad a chance at Craven Cottage.
Josh Brillante, Ben Halloran, Brad Smith, Tomi Juric and Carl Valeri are among those who came on as substitutes against the Belgians and they seem likely to play a bigger role tonight as Postecoglou looks at his options before next year's Asian Cup on home soil.
The game will be Saudi Arabia's first since May and it comes into this match on the back of losses to Moldova and Georgia.
Saudi Arabia has won just one of its five previous matches against Australia but with five straight defeats and no win in seven themselves, Luongo said Saudi Arabia would prove a tough opponent.
"I think it's a good opportunity to get confidence up," said Luongo, who did not get any game time at the World Cup in Brazil despite being in the squad.
"We have played against some of the top teams in the world already.
"If we can take what we do on the training ground into games against some of the so-called lesser teams then we will do OK.
"I don't know much about them (Saudi Arabia) but it's probably the best preparation going into the Asian Cup.
"It will give us more confidence going into those games especially if we get a win.
"But it won't be an easy task."