Davidson eyes Socceroos left-back spot

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Amid fierce competition for the Socceroos’ left-back position, Jason Davidson is intent on nailing down a starting spot at his Dutch club ahead of this month’s crucial World Cup qualifier against Oman.

Having long lamented a dearth of options at left-back, the Socceroos now have three candidates for that problem position plying their trade in leading European competitions.

Davidson is in the Dutch top flight for Heracles Almelo along with FC Utrecht flyer Michael Zullo while Aziz Behich is on the verge of starting his stint at Turkish outfit Bursaspor.

Davidson made his sole Socceroos appearance is Australia’s friendly against Scotland in Edinburgh last August, while Zullo, the most capped of the three with nine appearances, was coach Holger Osieck’s preferred option in Australia’s 3-2 loss to Romania last month.

Five-time capped Behich made an impression on Osieck as part of the squad that successfully contested the East Asian Cup qualifying tournament in Hong Kong last December.

“It’s pretty much a battle out of us three. I think the key is to play at club level,” said Davidson, who has made just nine appearances in 25 games at Hercules.

“The boss (Osieck) has made it pretty clear that whoever is playing regularly in first team football will get the chance to play.

“I can’t really speak about the other two. All I can really speak about is me and how I have to work up to get back into the first eleven (at Heracles).

“I know that when I do that, that will be enough to get another call up.

“The other two boys, I think they’ll be thinking the same.”

Whoever gets the nod at left-back will have the added pressure of marshalling a back line missing captain Lucas Neill who is suspended from the Oman clash on March 26 in Sydney.

Neill has been front and centre for all 10 of Australia’s World Cup qualification matches to date – the only player to boast such a record.

December’s East Asian Cup qualifiers aside, the last time the Socceroos played a competitive fixture without their skipper was almost two years ago.

“It’s always important to have your captain on your side, but I think we have the quality as well for somebody to step up,” said Davidson.

“People do get suspended and whoever takes the position has to grab it with both hands.”

© AAP 2014
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