Crystal Palace boss Neil Warnock has conceded he will lose Mile Jedinak in January due to the Asian Cup and says it’ll be a big blow for the Premier League battlers.
Jedinak, the current Palace and Socceroos skipper, is likely to be with his country for most of the opening month of 2015, with Australia starting their Asian Cup campaign on January 9 against Kuwait at AAMI Park.
Australia are expected to go deep in the tournament on home turf and subsequently Jedinak is likely to miss three league fixtures as well as FA Cup matches too.
Among the league fixtures are difficult home games against Tottenham and Everton and an away trip to newly promoted Burnley.
Jedinak is a key player in midfield for Palace, who were widely tipped to battle the drop this term following manager Tony Pulis’ exit on the eve of the season.
However, the Australia has led his side to back-to-back wins, scoring in both games, to help them move up to ninth on the Premier League table.
“We will miss him,” Warnock admitted to the London Evening Standard.
“He is the leader of the camp. Everything on and off the field revolves around him.
"There is the Africa Cup of Nations at about the same time, too, so it will be difficult for a lot of teams in the Premier League in January and February.
"Mile has been able to push forward more than usual this season, too, and I think he can score more goals.”
Jedinak endured a mixed start to the 2014-15 season but has slowly re-discovered his form this term.
The 30-year-old has played every minute of Palace’s league campaign so far, but was rested for both of the club’s Capital One Cup fixtures.