Melbourne City coach Patrick Kisnorbo says the “hype” surrounding Marco Tilio was detrimental to the young attacker’s hopes of being named in Australia’s World Cup squad.
Despite being in the Socceroos’ squad for June’s World Cup playoffs and the September series against New Zealand, Tilio was overlooked for World Cup duty by national coach Graham Arnold.
Debate on whether Tilio should go to Qatar, as well as his failure to start the season in City’s top XI, led to constant questions being asked about the former Sydney FC prodigy.
“The hype hasn’t helped,” Kisnorbo said on Friday when asked about Tilio’s World Cup snubbing.
“Every week we get asked about Marco; it’s only normal that sometimes people listen.”
Kisnorbo urged Tilio to use his World Cup rejection as “motivation” to ensure he made future Socceroos squads.
“He’s OK. Unfortunately, it’s part of football and these are sometimes the down moments you get, but knowing his character and what he is, this can be used for motivation,” the City coach said.
“He’s young; he’s got a lot of World Cups, potentially, to be part of.
“This is a test of his career. I’m sure he’ll go through this and do himself proud and work harder and hopefully one day we’ll see him at a World Cup.”
Kisnorbo said both of City’s World Cup-bound attackers – Jamie Maclaren and Mathew Leckie – were “available for selection” for Saturday’s match against Newcastle at McDonald Jones Stadium before leaving for Qatar.
“We’ll see how training goes,” he said.
“They’ve done fantastically well.