The squad is set to be named next week ahead of a training camp in Gosford but Neill’s already been given the flick leaving Mile Jedinak or Tim Cahill the most likely to take the captain’s armband. 

Neill has struggled for regular game time with short-term deals with Omiya Ardija in the J-League and Watford in the Championship giving Postecoglou little reason to put him on the plane. His most recent appearance was for Doncaster Rovers in their loss to Leicester City at the weekend which saw them relegated to League One. 

The 36-year-old got a solid indication of where he stood when left out of the squad to play Ecuador in London in March.

“It was difficult because he’s worked damn hard to try and make himself ready and available,” Postecoglou said on Tuesday. “He’s shown an enormous determination to go to this World Cup.

“From my perspective, I had to make a decision and over the past six months, in terms of form and fitness, there just wasn’t enough evidence there for me that he’d be able to hold up in a World Cup.

“For somebody as decorated as him, it’s a tough decision to deny him going to a third World Cup. It’s a decision that weighed heavily on me. I wanted to make sure I was absolutely clear on the premise of my decision.”

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