Verbeek blasts Boro

Boss sure Williams would have made WC with 'normal' treatment

Verbeek: Hit out over treatment of Williams

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Australia coach Pim Verbeek has hit out at Middlesbrough after Rhys Williams missed out on the World Cup.

The defender was culled from the Socceroos squad on Wednesday after losing his fitness battle to overcome a pelvic injury.

The 21-year-old often played through the pain barrier this season as the Teessiders mounted a Championship play-off push but Verbeek has hit out at the club - and manager Gordon Strachen - for the way they handled his injury.

The Australia boss told the Sydney Morning Herald: "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.

Disappointed

"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."

Williams will return home to England but the other four players to miss out on the final 23 - Shane Lowry, Tommy Oar, James Holland and Eugene Galekovic - have been invited to stay with the rest of the squad for the remainder of the World Cup.