Back in the green and gold after an injury lay-off, Ivan Franjic says he is fit and raring to go as he looks to win back his Socceroos starting position.
Franjic was Ange Postecoglou’s the first-choice right-back for the recent FIFA World Cup, only to injure his hamstring in the first group game against Chile.
The former Brisbane Roar star hasn’t featured for the national side since but is back in the fold for these friendlies against UAE and Qatar.
The World Cup experience – even as brief as it was – has left him hanging for and hungry to get his Socceroos jersey back.
“Playing in the biggest sporting event in the world is something special and something I’ll look back on at the end of the year and really appreciate,” Franjic told FFA TV.
“But now I’m here in the UAE, I haven’t played with the national team for a while and I just want to put my foot forward and cement a starting position.”
Franjic admits he doesn’t know a lot about UAE and their football but expects a tough challenge, especially in the intense heat and humidity in Abu Dhabi.
After snapping a five-game losing streak with a 3-2 win over Saudi Arabia last month, the Torpedo Moscow right-back says it’s vital for the side to start stringing a few wins together and building some momentum ahead of January’s Asian Cup.
“It’s good to have a good performance but now it’s about getting the results because our performances have improved but we haven’t really been getting results,” Franjic said.
“It’s time to change leading into the Asian Cup, starting on (Saturday morning AEDT) gives the players the perfect opportunity to show we’ve turned the corner.”