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Middlesbrough's McDonald: Australia can restore sporting pride with Asian Cup win

Middlesbrough striker Scott McDonald feels the Australian national football team can restore the nation's sporting pride by taking out the Asian Cup. The Socceroos opened up their 2011 campaign with a seemingly easy 4-0 win over India on Monday night and McDonald says it is the right time for Holger Osieck and his men to get Australia back to winning ways, especially after the cricket team lost the Ashes to England.

"There is a lot of pressure on us to restore national pride after the Ashes," he told the Gazette.

"We can do that by winning this cup. Personally I would be very proud and I know the country would be buzzing. We all have a belief we can do it.

"We are favourites to win it to so there is a lot of expectation back home," he added.

"But we have to earn that right. There's some good sides in it and the standard is getting higher with Japan and South Korea who have a very strong domestic league and even North Korea who were in the World Cup last summer too.

"We have a strong domestic league now, we have been in the last few World Cups, a lot of our players are in top European leagues and we are ranked No 1 in Asia, so we are expected to be right in there at the end."

Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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