Ange hails Massimo: No Luongo on the fringes

Socceroos boss Ange Posteocoglou has praised the performance of midfielder Massimo Luongo who made his first starting appearance for Australia against Saudi Arabia on Tuesday morning (AEST).

Luongo was one of the Socceroos’ best in the 3-2 friendly win, playing in an advanced midfield role alongside Josh Brillante.

The Swindon Town 21-year-old almost got on the scoresheet and linked well with Tim Cahill.

“He did well,” Postecoglou said.

“We’ve been watching him develop and he looks really assured and comfortable.

“I can see him really growing as an international footballer but we’ve just got to keep giving him opportunities. If we keep doing that, yeah I think he can be a really good player for us.”

In just his second cap for the Socceroos, Luongo started the match until he was replaced by Mark Bresciano after 78 minutes. The Sydneysider said he felt confident out on the pitch.

“I’m comfortable when I get on the ball, I’m not in a rush to get rid of it,” Luongo said.

“There were times when maybe I need to quicken up a little but I’m happy to get on the ball and try a few things. I was happy to get a start.

“The boss chose to bring me off but it was one of those games where I knew I wouldn’t be involved all the time.

“It’s tight in that pocket area but when I did get the ball I was just trying to get as much as I could out of it.”