Milligan delaying retirement call

Mark Milligan is to stay around with the Socceroos at least up until they defend the Asian Cup next year.

The 33-year-old defender was weighing up wither to follow Tim Cahill and Mile Jedinak into international retirement following the World Cup in Russia earlier this year.

But conversations with Graham Arnold, who has replaced Bert van Marwijk as the Socceroos coach since the tournament, led to him postponing that decision.

The defender admits he arrived at last month's camp in Turkey doubting whether he would add to his 71 caps.

Now he's a contender to replace Jedinak as the Australia captain.

Milligan says it was natural to take time out and reflect after the World Cup.

He added: "I spoke to Arnie quite a few times afterwards and obviously the decision I came to was that I want to be a part of this and help this group remain and become even more successful.

"You can see the winning mentality in the group, and I guess Arnie coming in with that positivity is really feeding that. You could see that response in Turkey with what they're trying to do.

"We will continue to improve and I think that's very exciting. With the Asian Cup just around the corner, it's something I wanted to stay around for and be a part of."

Trent Sainsbury is one of the other contenders to take over the captain's armband, having twice captained the team in friendlies against the Czech Republic and Hungary before the World Cup.

Milligan says he will naturally step up into more of a leadership role as the Socceroos continue their preparations for the Asian Cup.

Arnold's first game in charge will come against Kuwait this week. Australia are 1/2 to beat Kuwait, who are 5/4 with the draw 7/4.

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