We'll do the job against Peru, insists Juric

Tomi Juric, the man most likely to be entrusted with providing the firepower to puncture Peru, insists Australia will hold up their end of the bargain in the bid to reach the last 16 of the FIFA World Cup.

Juric

Tomi Juric (C) during Socceroos training Source: AAP

But he admits he is not sure how Group C leaders France will approach their clash with Denmark, where only a Les Bleus victory will give the Socceroos a slither of hope of avoiding an early exit from Russia 2018.

In line to start ahead of Tim Cahill and Jamie Maclaren after Andrew Nabbout’s tournament-ending shoulder injury, the FC Luzern striker said: “I’m pretty confident we’ll get the job done.

“Although Peru are out of it (after successive losses to Denmark and France), knowing (the mentality) of teams from South America, they will give everything against us and put in a good shift.

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“I think we’ll do alright. The question is what will happen in the other match, and I hope that goes our way. But you never know.”



Should the stars align and Australia snatch second spot in Group C behind France they would likely face Croatia - the land of Juric’s forbears - in the knockout stage.

The 26-year-old played his club football there for three seasons at three different clubs and younger brother Deni is currently on the books of Hajduk Split.

But he was reluctant to wax lyrical over the prospect when asked to hypothesise ahead of Wednesday’s (AEST) duel with Peru in Sochi.

“Obviously, it would be a nice occasion but at this stage we can’t talk about it much because it’s quite far away from us,” said Juric, who shares a Croatian heritage with skipper Mile Jedinak and defender Matt Jurman.

"The most important game now is the game in front of us."

Despite being troubled by knee irritation intermittently throughout the past month, Juric - who came off the bench for the injured Nabbout in the 1-1 draw with Denmark - has declared himself ready to go against Peru.

“I feel good, I’ve been training well,” he said. “I’m quite confident in my ability and I am fit enough to play.

“But, as of yet, we don’t know who will be starting.

“Whoever it is it’s important that we put in a good shift and get a positive result.”

He said the competition between the strikers was “not intense at all”, adding: “We’re all training well and understand that someone will play.

“Whether it’s me, Timmy or Jamie at this point is irrelevant. The most important thing is the result.”

With eight goals in 37 appearances for his country, Juric is likely to get the nod from Bert van Marwijk despite the near hysteria surrounding calls for Cahill to be handed yet another rescue mission for his country.



He scored Australia’s winner in the 2015 AFC Asian Cup final, and a goal against Peru might also prove priceless.

With Australia struggling to convert from open play and relying on the spot-kick prowess of skipper Jedinak, a heavy burden is facing Juric.

Not that he sees it that way.

“If we score goals and win the game it doesn’t matter how we score them,” he added.

“The main thing is to get the win.

“Obviously, it’s something we might need to work on a little bit more, and have a little bit more confidence in the final third to finish things off.

“If we do that I think the rest will take care of itself.”




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3 min read
Published 24 June 2018 at 9:30pm
By Dave Lewis in Kazan