Saturday, 31 August 2013 3:35 PM
Socceroo Matt McKay has declared he’s ready to fight for his place in the national team following the announcement Michael Zullo will return to the Hyundai A-League with Adelaide United this season.
McKay is expected to come under renewed pressure for his starting position at left back, which has been a problematic selection for Head Coach Holger Osieck of late.
Despite being a predominately midfield player throughout his career, Brisbane Roar’s new Australian marquee signing has been deployed at left back by Osieck in recent full-strength Socceroos starting XI’s. However McKay will again play on the left side of midfield for the Roar when the A-League season kicks off in less than six weeks time.
Regardless of this, the 30-year-old is expected to again line up at left back next weekend when the Socceroos take on five-time World Cup champions Brazil in their capital Brasillia. McKay, who re-joined his hometown club earlier this month, was one of four A-League players in the 22-man squad selected to play against next year’s FIFA World Cup hosts.
The return of Zullo, who will spend the season on loan with Adelaide from his Dutch club FC Utrecht will put pressure on his former Brisbane Roar teammate to retain his place. The 24-year-old, who has made 10 appearances for the Socceroos, has been out of favour since making his last appearance against Romania on 6 February 2013, due to a lack of playing time. However McKay welcomed the challenge.
“Similar to me, he’s coming back to the A-League, which is a great competition,” McKay said. “You need regular football and then you’ve got to be playing well.”
“If I get the opportunity to play there again and I do well, that’s all I can do. I can just concentrate on each performance in whichever position I’m playing.”
Next weekend’s match against Brazil should prove to be the strongest test yet for the 41-capped Socceroo, who will be tasked with having to defend against Brazilian stars Neymar, Oscar and Maicon.
Australia also have an international scheduled against France next month.
Brazil v Socceroos
Saturday 7 September 2013
Estadio Nacional Mané Garrincha Stadium, Brasilia, Brazil
Kick-off: 4.15pm local (5:15am AEST)
Broadcast live & exclusive on FOX SPORTS 3HD and 3 from 5.00am (AEST).