Pogatetz in contention to lead country

VIENNA - Middlesbrough captain Emanuel Pogatetz is in contention to lead Austria against Romania in their 2010 World Cup Group Seven qualifier on April 1, he told the Austria Press Agency on Wednesday.

New Austria coach Didi Constantini left out Andreas Ivanschitz, who has captained Austria in recent matches, leaving the post up for grabs.

Pogatetz said Constantini had asked him if he was ready to be captain.

"He asked me whether I wanted to be captain and whether I would be disappointed if he didn't name me," Pogatetz said. "And I told him that I would indeed like to do it and that I actually would be disappointed."

Austria are fourth in the group with four points from four matches. Romania are fifth, also on four points but having played one game less.


Goalkeepers: Michael Gspurning (Xanthi), Juergen Macho (AEK Athens), Andreas Schranz (Austria Kaernten)

Defenders: Aleksandar Dragovic (Austria Vienna), Andreas Ibertsberger (Hoffenheim), Manuel Ortlechner (Austria Kaernten), Emanuel Pogatetz (Middlesbrough), Sebastian Proedl (Werder Bremen), Franz Schiemer (Austria Vienna), Andreas Ulmer (Red Bull Salzburg)

Midfielders: Daniel Beichler (Sturm Graz), Christian Fuchs (Bochum), Andreas Hoelzl (Sturm Graz), Zlatko Junuzovic (Austria Kaernten), Uemit Korkmaz (Eintracht Frankfurt), Christoph Leitgeb (Red Bull Salzburg), Yasin Pehlivan (Rapid Vienna), Juergen Saeumel (FC Torino), Paul Scharner (Wigan)

Forwards: Marko Arnautovic (Twente Enschede), Erwin Hoffer (Rapid Vienna), Marc Janko (Red Bull Salzburg), Stefan Maierhofer (Rapid Vienna).