September 2, 2014 – 8:52AM
Still coming to terms with being thrown into the English Premier League deep end, Jason Davidson is ready to give his Socceroos stocks another boost against Belgium.
Davidson became the latest Australian to ply his trade in England’s top flight when he joined West Brom last month and things have progressed quickly for the 23-year-old defender.
Despite a lack of pre-season training following the World Cup, Davidson was thrust into Alan Irvine’s starting line-up in place of injured first-choice left back Sebastien Pocognoli.
While Davidson scored the winning shootout penalty in League Cup win over Oxford, he endured a tough first league start when substituted after 72 minutes in Saturday’s 3-0 loss to Swansea.
“It’s been a tough few weeks for me. I think because I missed the pre-season it’s not the best situation for myself,” Davidson told AAP ahead of Australia’s friendly against Belgium in Liege on Thursday.
“I’ve been thrown into the deep end but every opportunity I get to play in the first team I’m trying to grab with both hands.
“And my body, I’m trying to get back to the same level as the World Cup as soon as possible.
“To say I’m now a starting player now, that’s up to the gaffer but I’m just working as hard as I can.”
Playing regularly in one of the world’s strongest league is sure to enhance Davidson’s long-term claims to the Socceroos’ left back spot.
He was one of Australia’s best at the World Cup but Davidson is taking nothing for granted and targeting strong showings against Belgium this week and Saudi Arabia in London on Monday.
Young Liverpool left back Brad Smith has earned his first Socceroos call-up for the friendly matches and will be out to provide Davidson with competition in the lead-up to next year’s Asian Cup.
“My mentality is that you’re only as good as your last game,” Davidson said.
“I’m happy that people think I played well in the World Cup but I think nobody’s guaranteed a spot.
“Brad’s here and I remember being in his situation last year.
“Depth is something that’s key for us and you need to have depth in every position and push each other along.”
The bulk of Ange Postecolgou’s squad has arrived in Belgium’s third-largest city with star Tim Cahill and returning Aston Villa defender Chris Herd among the late arrivals due on Tuesday.
Striker Mathew Leckie sat out training on Monday but is expected to be fit for selection against a Belgium side packed with Premier League talent but missing star attackers Eden Hazard, Marouane Fellaini and Romelu Lukaku.
© 2014 AAP
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Source : The Sydney Morning Herald