Socceroos Central: Smith returns, Federici fit again

by Ben Somerford on Jan 08, 2018

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Socceroo Brad Smith made his return following a long-term hip injury in the FA Cup, Adam Federici also returned to the matchday squad after injury while there was a host of Aussies rested.

Firstly to the FA Cup on Saturday, Brad Smith made his first appearance since October, playing the first 45 minutes as Bournemouth drew 2-2 with League One leaders Wigan.

Smith was replaced at the break, with his side trailing 2-0 before a second-half fightback.

The appearance was only Smith’s third for the season and first at club level since mid-September.

He has been overlooked for selection, before suffering a hip injury on Socceroos duty in the play-off against Syria in October.

Smith was one of a number of changes that Cherries boss Eddie Howe made to his side.

Howe said: “I don’t regret making the changes, it was an opportunity to see new players, an opportunity for some to keep their rhythm from the previous games and an opportunity for others to rest.

“The changes may have upset the rhythm at first, but given how we train I’d be surprised if players don’t know what I want from them.

“At half-time, we made a couple of substitutions, we had a better balance, and it was perhaps a bit more positive from those that came on. As a result, the team had a better look about it.”

In more positive news, Adam Federici was on the bench for the Cherries, having recently returned from a knee injury lay-off.

Federici has been linked with a move to Nottingham Forest.

Callum Elder also sat on the bench for Wigan.

Jackson Irvine was a 61st minute substitute for Hull City in their 1-0 win over Blackburn in the FA Cup.

Mile Jedinak was absent as Aston Villa crashed out 3-1 at home to Peterborough, while Bailey Wright was an unused sub as Bristol City bowed out to Watford too.

Aaron Mooy was rested as Huddersfield got past Bolton 2-1, along with Massimo Luongo as QPR lost 1-0 at home to MK Dons.

James Meredith warmed the pine as Millwall progressed with a 4-1 win over Barnsley, along with Bradden Inman as Rochdale won 1-0 at Doncaster Rovers.

In Scotland’s Championship, Scott McDonald put in a full shift as Dundee United’s promotion hopes took a hit with a 6-1 loss away to Falkirk.

On Sunday, Tommy Oar was an unused sub as APOEL defeated Alki Oroklini in the Cypriot First Division.

Mitch Langerak wasn’t in the Levante squad as they lost 3-0 away to Barcelona in Spain’s La Liga.