Shandong Luneng defender McGowan not losing focus on World Cup

Ryan McGowan says he will not waver in his approach as the 2014 World Cup looms near.

Ryan McGowan says he will not waver in his approach as the 2014 World Cup looms near.

The 24-year old defender is gearing up for the impending Chinese Super League season with Shandong Luneng but insists he has his focus on Australia’s international friendly with Ecuador in London early next month.

McGowan returned to the Socceroos line-up for the meeting with Costa Rica in Sydney in November and is expected to step into the vacancy left by the Achilles injury sustained by Middlesbrough’s Rhys Williams.

The former Heart of Midlothian man is well aware that there is a possible spot up for grabs for Ange Postecoglou’s Socceroos squad for Brazil 2014 and insists he is working hard to push for a berth at world football’s biggest tournament.

“It was great to be involved last time out against Costa Rica under Ange and its exciting what he’s trying to accomplish with the national team,” he told SBS.

“But with the competition for places and Ange formulating his squad, there are no guarantees and it’s vital for me that I keep playing at a high level and don’t lose any focus for a second over the next few months.

“I feel sad for Rhys with his Achilles injury because he’s a mate of mine and a top player but fortunately Ange has quite a few other capable players who can step in – and while we all want to be there in Brazil, we also support each other and the competition is a healthy one.

“If you look at some of the players pushing through now, there may be a bit of changing of the guard in those defensive roles – but we will just have to see what Ange decides to do.”

He added: “I like both roles but it’s good to nail down one and make it your specialist position. I’ve done that now and feel comfortable in the role.

“It’s where I see my future going forward but you never know in football and it’s good to have that versatility.”

 
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