Viduka Set For The Battle

Last updated : 06 July 2007 By Footy Mad - Editor
Mark Viduka has confidence that the team will perform well in the Asian Cup, but admitted he expected some tough competition from their Asian rivals.

Mark Viduka: ''Japan, South Korea and China are all top sides.

"Our performances in the last World Cup showed we can compete.

''There's really not that much difference the way they play in Asia to the teams we have faced in Europe and Oceania.

''We concentrate more on the way we play, rather than our opponents.''

Viduka admitted the tropical heat in Bangkok was bit of a problem but the team had spent some time in Singapore and were well acclimatized by now and should not be affected by the hot weather.

(Footy Mad report from last week)

Viduka Situation Not What Sam Expected 

Mark Viduka admitted he changed his mind about retiring from international football knowing it would jeopardize the start to his Newcastle career.

When Sam Allardyce signed the striker from Middlesbrough, Viduka had made his mind he was set to retire for international football.

However, Viduka admitted he changed his mind about retiring because he still values playing for his beloved Australia. The former Celtic and Leeds United striker had a change of heart just days before coach Graham Arnold named his squad for the finals, despite the repercussions it could have on life at his new club.

The 31-year-old was expected back to Tyneside for training on July 2nd, but the tournament's conclusion is July 29. After which he is expected to take a holiday. NOT what Allardyce had hoped ... or expected.

Viduka: "It's a difficult situation.

"You have to weigh up everything. You have to have a good rest before you start up again. Obviously playing for Australia is very important for me otherwise I wouldn't be here.

"Moving to a new club you have to assert yourself there. Newcastle is a big club with some good strikers and good players and it would be an advantage to start off from the start with the pre-season with whole team.

"Playing at the Asian Cup for my club perspective is a disadvantage for myself, and not just for myself there are a few other players who are in a similar position.

"So there's a lot of things you have to weigh up. But in the end I think playing for Australia was too important for me to give that up.

"I haven't made a decision on the World Cup.

"I want to do as well as I can in this tournament for Australia and for the team and I think I'll have to make the decision later on as to what happens afterwards."