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Austria coach Otto Baric is trying to persuade the Austrian Football Association to allow him to hold a five- to six-day training camp with his squad as they prepare to meet Israel on October 27.

Baric said over the weekend that only such an extended session would allow the new players in his squad to get to know each other and mold themselves as a team. "This is the only thing which will leave the new-look squad a chance against Israel in the most important game for Austrian soccer in a long while," he said.

But Baric's wish may not be granted. On Wednesday, October 24 a match between top clubs Sturm Graz and Tirol Innsbruck is set to take place, although there is a chance that it will be postponed. The Austrian FA will need to put its thinking cap on if its national team makes it to the playoffs, as it will have to postpone two whole rounds of league action.

Baric is set to watch a game between Admira Wacker and Tirol today, although local journalists do not understand why he has picked this match as there are no clear candidates for his squad from Admira and five players from Tirol pulled out of the last squad when they said they would not travel to Israel. They have been told they will not be picked again.

In an interview yesterday in the daily Kurier, Baric said: "I don't need them and I am not going to ask them," alluding to the players who had originally refused to go Israel, citing security concerns.

"I am looking for players with strong nerves, those who won't be nervous. It's only players like that we can use in Tel Aviv," he said.