• Mark Milligan in action for the Socceroos. (Getty Images)
Mark Milligan has confirmed he will be leaving relegation-threatened Arabian Gulf League club Baniyas at the end of the season - but he has no idea yet where he is headed.
By
Dave Lewis

21 Mar 2017 - 6:53 AM  UPDATED 21 Mar 2017 - 6:53 AM

While an A-League return for the 31 year old Socceroos utility remains a possibility, the ex-Melbourne Victory skipper's preference is Europe, the Middle East or Asia.

Whatever transpires, it will need to be a destination which fulfills the criteria of giving him the best chance of being involved in the looming Confederations Cup and, hopefully, the World Cup after that.

"I'm not rushing into anything ... I haven't been in this position for a long time where I will be a free agent and it's a good place to be for me," explained Milligan.

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"If Australia are doing well then hopefully that's going to benefit me, so we'll see what comes at the end of the season in mid-May.

"Hopefully I will have a few options ahead of me ... and my focus will be putting myself in the best position possible to show I am good to go for next year's World Cup (assuming Australia qualify).

"I will need to show Ange (Postecoglou) that I am playing at a good standard."

While not discounting the A-League, Milligan is in no hurry to head home.

"If, for example, I was to say in the Gulf it would need to be a Champions League team," he said.

"There are so many variables at the moment but I will get a clearer idea closer to the end of the season when teams will have a better picture of what type of player they are looking for.

"I don't regret this experience at Baniyas - but I am now looking forward to the next experience."

Having started off the bench in Australia's last two qualifiers, and being used as a stopper and right back before that, 53-cap Milligan would dearly love to regain his former midfield spot for Thursday's' vital World Cup qualifier against Iraq.

"It's a very competitive area of the team but the most important thing for me is to put my hand up for one spot in particular and prove myself in that position," he declared.

"Of course I am happy to play anywhere but it's much easier when you know what's coming, so you are best able to prepare for that.

"People might find it hard to fathom but changes in position can be tough mentally to make sure you are giving your best performance when called upon.

"Honestly though, if I am able to make the squad I am over the moon and if I am in the starting team that's even better."

With Australia a point adrift of Saudi Arabia and Japan going into the match in Tehran, Milligan says the team are determined to deliver after November's scratchy 2-2 draw with Thailand.

"Where we are sitting in the group is not ideal but it's not terrible," he added.

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"We've had to wait a while for a for this one ... we'll do our analysis of what went wrong against Thailand and what we need to do better.

"We've always responded well when there have been results that weren't up to our standards.

"And that's what the boss will be looking for.

"This is a good match for us to do well and take confidence from."