Football

Australia Boss Graham Arnold Apologised to Tom Rogic After Forcing Him to Miss Gers Game

Australia Boss Graham Arnold Apologised to Tom Rogic After Forcing Him to Miss Gers Game

Australia manager Graham Arnold has admitted he apologised to Tom Rogic after forcing the Celtic midfielder to miss his club’s showdown with arch-rivals Rangers later this month.

Rogic has developed into a crucial player for Brendan Rodgers’ Hoops and would be a certain starter for the powder-keg clash with the Gers at Ibrox on December 29, but his country have called him up for the forthcoming Asia Cup.

However, the Socceroos don’t start their campaign until their opener against Jordan on January 6 – but Rogic is needed at a pre-tournament training camp and will fly out after the Boxing Day match against Aberdeen.

Speaking via the Sun, under-fire Aussie boss Arnold explained: “I apologise to all the Celtic fans that Tommy won’t play. I have also said sorry to him. I have known Tommy for a long time and I feel so bad for him.

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“Tommy loves Celtic, he loves the derby and he wants to play.

“I know how big a game this is for Tommy — and I have spoken to him three times in the last few days.

“I can’t let him play but it’s completely WRONG to paint me as the bad guy in all of this.

“Using Fifa rules, Tom and the rest of the British-based players should meet up with the squad on December 24.

“Instead, I have let half my squad stay and play in the Boxing Day games — but I can’t do any more.

“We love Celtic. It’s an incredible club and we have a great relationship with them.

“I coached Tommy as a kid when he was in Australia and helped develop him.

“I understand that he is one of Celtic’s best players.

“I understand this is one of the biggest games of the season.

“But I have to make a fair decision for everyone in the squad — and I can’t let Tommy play against Rangers.”

With Leigh Griffiths out for the foreseeable future, and Odsonne Edouard struggling to reach full fitness, should Australia be a bit more understanding and let Rogic stay in Glasgow for a few extra days?

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