Socceroo Oliver Bozanic says it’ll take a couple of weeks to get up to scratch at Hyundai A-League champions Melbourne Victory, but he’s confident he’ll back firing for club and country.
The 26-year-old midfielder signed a three-year marquee deal earlier this month as a replacement for UAE bound Socceroo Mark Milligan.
Bozanic, signed from Luzern FC in Switzerland, has begun his integration into Kevin Muscat’s squad.
He played 45 minutes against Hume City last week and on Monday got 62 minutes in a behind doors friendly against his former club Central Coast at AAMI Park today (Monday).
Speaking after his first hit-out with the Big V – 45 minutes in a thrilling 4-3 friendly win over FFA Cup hopefuls Hume City – Bozanic was buzzing at the chance of reigniting his club and national team career.
“It’ll take a couple of weeks to get up to scratch but I’m feeling good. I’m very happy where I am.
"It’s always a new feeling but exciting to be a part of,” he told www.socceroos.com.au.
“Firstly it’s about focusing on Melbourne Victory and getting my body right.
“I’ve had a little time off in between clubs. I’ve been working hard by myself to try stay in the best condition
“It’s very difficult. It was nice to have a small break – obviously I didn’t want it to be that long because the last two years I’ve been flat out with hardly any break.
“It helped me recharge my batteries. It is difficult because you have to motivate yourself every day. I was lucky to work with someone who worked on my fitness.
Bozanic, a 2014 World Cup Socceroo, watched on as the Green and Gold scored eight goals and conceded zero against first Bangladesh (5-0) then Tajikistan in the most recent FIFA World Cup Russia 2018™ Qualifiers.
The depth in the Socceroos' midfield is increasing all the time with Aaron Mooy and Tom Rogic really stepping up in those two games. And Jackson Irvine from Scotland's Premiership and Lazio's rising star Chris Ikonomidis also pressing his claims.
Bozanic when fit will also come into calculations and knows Ange Postecoglou's game-plan and mentality well after being part of the World Cup last year. He'll no doubt come in handy over the qualifiers.
“It’s always difficult against the so-called weaker teams," Bozanic, who's been capped seven times, noted when asked about Bangladesh and Tajikistan.
“It doesn’t matter who we play the boss [Ange Postecoglou) makes sure we have the same drive and mentality to win every game.
“And it’s important for every Socceroo to have that mentality every time we play.
“Sometimes you have a bad pitch, or the crowd, but you try to not think too much about the things you can’t control and focus on the things we can control as a team.”