Tomi Juric says the Socceroos' Asian Cup success has filled him with a newfound confidence he hopes can help resurrect Western Sydney Wanderers' faltering season.
The Wanderers striker played a key role in Australia’s triumph throughout the tournament, including setting up the winning goal in the 2-1 extra-time win over Korea Republic on Saturday night.
But it’s back to club duties now with Juric and team-mate Matthew Spiranovic to re-join a Wanderers squad still searching for their first win of the campaign after 13 games.
Juric admits confidence is undoubtedly low at the moment but hopes his experiences in the Green and Gold can rub off on his team-mates, starting with Sunday’s clash with Wellington.
“It gives me a lift. I believe in my abilities and what I’ve achieved is very special to me and I’m looking to take that back to Western Sydney,” Juric said.
“We’re not in a great place at the moment in regards to the table. It’s a very difficult time for the club but now is the time where we will actually see the real character of ourselves.
“It’s a test for us to make the finals now. We’ve put ourselves in a really difficult position and now it’s a test of character.”
It’s been some few months for Juric – and Spiranovic - who not only helped the Socceroos become Asian Champions but achieving the same thing in club football with the Wanderers in the ACL.
“It’s been big for me and Spira personally,” he said.
“It’s something special. I don’t know how many players have done it but we’re fortunate to be two players that have achieved something so big.”
Juric came off the bench for Tim Cahill in the decider and came up with the big play with the match on the line in extra-time.
His classy back-heel through the legs of his marker helped him break free from two defenders before his cross was eventually turned in by James Troisi.
“It’s hard to explain these kinds of things,” said Juric when asked about his moment of magic.
“I was actually talking to my younger brother about it today he asked me the same question, ‘did you plan it’?
“Him being a player as well he understands when I tell him that I just went on instinct, you don’t really plan these things as a footballer.
“You react to the situation and that’s exactly what I did. I wiggled my way through somehow, the ball was in a dangerous area and we ended up scoring from it.
“It ended up being the winning goal which makes it even more special.”