Australia boss delivers message to Newcastle United and Hearts youngster following ‘tough’ loan spell

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Australia manager Graham Arnold has revealed his plan to help Garang Kuol rediscover his form after enduring a tough start to life at Hearts.

Following the completion of his move to Newcastle United, Kuol joined the Tynecastle outfit on a temporary basis in January in a bid to play regular senior football. Kuol starred for Central Coast Mariners back in Australia, form that earned him a move to Newcastle and a call-up to the Australia squad for the Qatar World Cup.

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The Socceroos impressed in Qatar, qualifying out of their group before being eliminated by eventual world champions Argentina in the round of 16. Kuol featured three times for Australia during the tournament and hopes were high that he could impress at Tynecastle following his move.

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However, the 18-year-old has featured just five times under Robbie Neilson and has struggled to make an impact during those appearances. Despite this, Australia boss Arnold has revealed Kuol is still in his plans for the senior national side and believes a call-up to his squad for games against Ecuador at the end of the month could benefit the teenager.

“Garang, at this moment, I think it's good for him to come back and be in camp and be around the boys, and we pick up his energy a little bit.” Arnold said.

“He's had a bit of a tough start at Hearts. The Scottish game, and the way that it's played, is completely different to Australia, so it's going to take a little bit of time for him to settle in with that and obviously learn that. I know the expectations of the kid are always very, very high, and going to Hearts I can imagine that was exactly the same, so it's a learning process for Garang and making sure that he can deal with it and we can be here to help him deal with it.

“I could either let him go with the [Australian] under 23s, or bring him here with us, because the under 23s will have camp at the same time in Italy. For him to come back to us and again to be part of the Socceroos squad that did well at the World Cup, and give him one of the first chances, is important for him as well.”