LONDON (AFP) - Brett Emerton has backed his old mate Nicky Carle to make a big impact on his first start for Australia in Saturday's friendly against Nigeria.
Emerton has known Sydney-born Carle since he was a child and can't wait to play alongside the Genclerbirligi midfielder at Fulham's Craven Cottage this weekend.
All six of Carle's previous appearances for Australia have been as a substitute but Tim Cahill's late injury withdrawal has allowed caretaker coach Rob Baan to put him in the starting line-up.
Carle, who turns 26 on November 23, quit Newcastle United Jets this year because he believed he had to play in Europe to further his international career.
His decision to move to Turkey has already been vindicated and Blackburn winger Emerton expects him to shine for Australia.
"Nicky is one to look out for I've known him pretty much all my life and I think he's a gret talent. He's definitely one for the future," Emerton said.
"We've got a lot of good young players and it's hugely important that they get the chance to play."
Emerton made a good start for the season with Blackburn and he believes the Premier League club's improved form has helped him raise his game.
"I think I've been playing quite well this season," he said. "It helps playing in a Blackburn team that has had a good start to the year.
"We've set ourselves high targets this year. People didn't really expect us to reach them but we believe in our own ability."
Emerton admits England midfielder Steven Gerrard could have a point when he claimed this week that a cap on foreign players in the Premier League would be a good idea to help improve the English national team.
The 28-year-old, who has played in England for four years, said: "As a foreigner myself it's not nice to hear that. I'm playing my trade here and enjoying every minute of it.
"But obviously there aren't too many English players in the Premiership at the moment so possibly it could provide a solution."
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