Socceroos first as Juric plays down Bundesliga links

Tomi Juric isn't letting interest from the Bundesliga sway his attention from spearheading the Socceroos towards the 2018 FIFA World Cup and his Swiss club Luzern to a top-three finish.

Tomi Juric

Tomi Juric is focused on performing well for the Socceroos in the upcoming 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers Source: Getty Images

The in-form striker - who has three goals and two assists in seven games since returning from the knee injury which felled him in November - was watched by scouts from Eintracht Frankfurt and FC Augsburg as he netted against St Gallen last weekend.

And with a burning ambition to grace one of Europe's big five leagues as he career unfolds, the 25-year-old now finds himself a likely target of the clubs he covets.

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Speaking before heading to Tehran, where he is likely to lead the attack in Thursday night's (AEDT) vital Group B World Cup qualifier against Iraq, Juric played down the interest from Germany.

"It's obviously nice to see that progress is getting noticed, but in football what appears in the papers may not be precise, it could be a guess or Chinese whispers," he said.

"But, yes, it's exciting ... it's good. But I am here in Luzern at the moment and it's important for me to keep playing my best.

"If something happens, it happens ... great. If not, I'll just keep doing what I'm doing and we'll go on from there.

"Right now, Luzern is my first and main priority and the same goes for the national team as well."

Juric, who has a year to run on his Swiss Super League deal, rejected the chance to join Championship promotion-chasers Reading during the January transfer because he didn't feel the timing was right as he returned from injury.



And all he wants to think about this week is translating his club form for his country against Iraq and then the UAE in Sydney, five days later.

"I've been pretty consistent these past few games and I'm going into camp with a bit of confidence," he said.

"These are huge games for us ... we have some catching up to do (with Group B leaders Saudi Arabia and Japan).

"We are pushing for that first place ... we don't just want to qualify, we want to do it with some respect.

"A lot of the boys have put in some good minutes in recent weeks and we'll be raring to go."

Juric missed the disappointing 2-2 draw in Thailand and admits that performance wasn't "up to our standard".



"We all know that, and we're all on same page with what we want to do," Juric said.

"That result didn't sit right for us and we've put it behind us now and will make sure the things that happened there don't happen again."

Though Juric has always been held in high-esteem by Ange Postecoglou as he emerges as the heir apparent to Tim Cahill, he never takes selection for granted.

"You always come into camp and give 100 per cent because nobody is guaranteed a spot to play, or even be selected in the squad again," he said.

"You go in trying to improve and show you deserve to be there ... and this camp won't be any different."

Juric is convinced Australia have evolved into a side with more depth and know-how since their 2015 AFC Asian Cup win in home soil.

"We've become more consistent in the way we play - as we go along in this qualification process the opposition gets better and that's a challenge for us to keep improving also," Juric said.

"Hopefully, we do qualify for the World Cup, and I believe we will, but there won't be one easy game to get there.

"We are improving, for sure, and the squad has been broadened, which means we don't depend just on a core group of players like maybe used to be the case back in the day."


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4 min read
Published 20 March 2017 at 7:39pm
By Dave Lewis