Having risen to the occasion of an A-League elimination final with a brace, Adelaide United’s forgotten Socceroo Tomi Juric has warned Sydney FC to write off him and the Reds at their peril.
Fit again after a frustrating A-League comeback season after an absence of more than five year, Juric made a timely return to form in the Reds’ do-or-die 2-1 weekend win over Brisbane Roar at Dolphin Stadium.
In the absence of injured attacking pair Craig Goodwin and Kusini Yengi, Juric lifted in Adelaide’s time of need, scoring two first-half goals to earn the Reds’ a semi-final date with Sydney on Saturday night at Jubilee Stadium.
“It’s never great when you lose important players in the squad,” Juric said.
“It’s a difficult position to be put in, but I think we handled it great as a team and a club – we stepped up.
“We showed (against the Roar) that we have what it takes, and now it’s just up to us to kick on from here.”
Tomi Juric on his way to scoring against Brisbane Roar. Picture: Chris Hyde/Getty Images)Source:Getty Images
Juric welcomed the prospect of the Reds being heavy underdogs against defending champions Sydney.
“If you look back over the course of the season, a lot of people have been saying the same thing over and over again, and never really given us a chance,” he said.
As for his own telling contribution, Juric suggested it was what he expected of himself.
“I’m not going to brag or anything but I do have a lot of experience throughout my career, and where I’ve played and what I’ve done,” said the powerful marksman who won the Asian Cup with the Socceroos in 2015, scored in Western Sydney Wanderers’ two-legged AFC Champions League final success in 2014, and played for host of overseas clubs including Roda (Netherlands) and Luzern (Switzerland).
“I wouldn’t be here where I am today and done what I’ve done without believing in myself.
“Everybody goes through rough patches. It’s just part of life (and) part of football.
“My time comes sooner or later always, and (Sunday) was some of that time, and I’m hoping for more of that on the weekend.”
Capped 41 times for Australia, a firing Juric should be in contention for Socceroos’ selection in the next stage of qualifying for the 2022 World Cup despite not having played for his country since November 2018.
“That’s not my call. I’m fully focused now on Adelaide and making sure that on Saturday we get the right result again,” he said.
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