Irrepressible Irvine shows Ange he's ready for Socceroos start

While Aaron Mooy hoovers up the Huddersfield headlines this season, fellow Championship-based Socceroo Jackson Irvine has emerged as a mighty force in Burton Albion's fight for survival.

Jackson Irvine

Burton Albion's Jackson Irvine Source: Getty Images

The all-action midfielder's eight goals in 31 games have helped the newly-promoted Brewers create a three-point buffer between themselves and the drop zone.

Record signing Irvine, 23, has become one the heartbeat's of Nigel Clough's side while banging the drum for a jump up the Socceroos pecking order for this month's World Cup qualifiers against Iraq and UAE.

Socceroos coach Ange Potecoglou will name his 30-man squad for both qualifiers on Wednesday.

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But, aware of the strength of Australia's midfield stocks even in the absence of the injured Tom Rogic, Irvine is circumspect over his chances of making it into Postecoglou's starting line-up.

"You always want to contribute as much as you can and you need to, whether it's 10 minutes or from the start," he said.

"I will approach the camp, if selected, the same as I always do.

"The midfield is such a strong area of the pitch for us and we have so many options. I am sure everybody will be itching to be a part of it.

"Most importantly, it will be the results and the performances that keep us moving forward."



Though Australia dropped to third in the group behind Japan and UAE after a disappointing 2-2 draw in Thailand last November, Irvine sees no cause for undue concern with three home games to come.

"They are all hard games and teams see us as the team to beat and set up in a way to stop us playing our game," he said.

"But that's what happens when you are the top team in Asia... you saw that with the way Japan approached their game against us.

"We just need to be a little more clinical and decisive in the final third.

"Every game is must-win at this point and we recognise the pressure and expectation that comes with the Socceroos.

"We fully back ourselves and believe in the way we're trying to play."

irvine, who returned from a groin strain for the weekend's goalless draw against Bailey Wright's Bristol City battlers, is convinced that Burton have the pedigree to avoid dropping straight back to League One.

"Every point counts and the last few weeks have been positive for us," said Irvine, ahead of clashes against Sheffield Wednesday, Nottingham Forest and Brentford leading into the international break.

"It's a massive period for us - and after that we are away to Newcastle and Huddersfield, which will be really tough."

Speaking of the remorseless consistency which has made a target of other Championship clubs and provoked the recent offer of an upgraded contract, Irvine said: "l have been pleased with my performances this season and feel I am developing well in my first year at this level.

"I've had as good a year as I could have dreamed of for first year in England."


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3 min read
Published 7 March 2017 at 1:33pm
By Dave Lewis