15 August 2012 08:40
Australia coach Holger Osieck has denied Scott McDonald is running out of chances to score his first international goal.
The Middlesbrough striker has had little trouble finding the back of the net at club level, scoring better than a goal every three games in spells with Scottish Premier League clubs Motherwell and Celtic, as well as netting 27 times in 86 appearances for his current side.
But the international scene has been a different prospect for the 28-year-old, who has failed to find the back of the net in 25 caps and fallen behind the likes of Archie Thompson, Robbie Kruse and Alex Brosque in the battle for spots up front in Socceroos squads.
He put in a positive performance during his country’s 2-1 win over Wales in August 2011 – his last international appearance – and Osieck had no qualms calling the Boro man up for Wednesday’s friendly with Scotland at Easter Road.
“If he had scored (against Wales), even with his ear, everyone would have said, ‘He broke the deadlock’,” Osieck told reporters in Edinburgh on Monday.
“I think he’s good enough and even when I see him training, he’s in a good position right now. He’s very mobile, he’s ambitious.
“I don’t want to call it a final chance, because in football you should … never say never. If you say, ‘Never again’, then you are on the wrong track as a manager.”
Osieck also praised 22-year-old Hearts defender Ryan McGowan, who could make his Socceroos debut in the city where he plays his club football.
“I think Ryan is a decent boy. I had him in the scouting camp last year in Germany and he was a little bit raw then, but he showed a great deal of commitment and a great understanding of the game,” he said.
“Then after that I followed his way, and he made it into the first team here, he made it in the (Scottish) Cup final. He’s been quite successful and (had) some decent performances, so I decided to give him the opportunity to join our group and maybe he gets the opportunity to get on the pitch tomorrow.”