Middlesbrough have been slammed by Socceroos coach, Pim Verbeek, for ruining Rhys Williams’ World Cup dream.
The young defender was cut from Australia’s final World Cup squad because of an injury sustained while playing for the English club.
Shane Lowry, Tommy Oar, James Holland, and goalkeeper Eugene Galekovic were also left out of Australia’s final 23-man line-up.
However, Verbeek said 21-year-old Williams would have been a certain member of his team had it not been for a pelvic injury which has dogged him for much of the season.
Williams has continued to play through the pain barrier for his English Championship club, receiving injections to keep going.
Verbeek laid the blame squarely at the feet of Boro manager and former Scottish international, Gordon Strachan.
“He trained without confidence – he could never train fully, he’s not free to play and his recovery is not quick enough to make it,” Verbeek said.
“I’m disappointed he will not be in the final 23.
“Gordon Strachan let him play for weeks with an injury. Gordon Strachan let him play with an injection every game. If you do that with a 20-year-old player you take a risk.
“I’m 100 per cent sure if they (Middlesbrough) had given him the normal treatment for a player, he should be in the World Cup.”