Juric ready to strike for Socceroos
AUSTRALIA'S No.1 striker Tomi Juric cursed the dreadful timing of his knee injury, but declared himself ready to make a World Cup impact.
Breaking his silence after the injury which has thrown the World Cup striking spot wide open, Juric revealed that he was hoping for minutes in Sunday's friendly against Hungary after sitting out the Czech Republic rout.
Juric, who was the Socceroos' chief marksman under Ange Postecoglou, never doubted his place in the squad as the battle to lead the line intensifies after Jamie Maclaren's shock 11th hour call-up.
While Juric has started just one of the three games under the new regime, he's hoping the three goals scored against Bert van Marwijk's Saudi Arabia in qualifying won't be forgotten.
Asked whether he thought his World Cup was over, the Luzern striker was defiant.
"Nah, I didn't. I just knew it was going to be thing of maintaining it, keeping it calm and making sure it doesn't flare up to the point where I can't play,'' Juric said.
"And I've been managing that well, come the first game I think I'll be ready. Good ready.
"This thing just hit me at the wrong time and definitely not the way I want to prepare for a World Cup. I had a different plan in mind.
"Sometimes it seems to me that the things that come my way just become more difficult. That's been the case my whole life and this time is no different."
Juric revealed that the injury occurred on the home straight of his Swiss season.
"I was quite fit throughout the season. It was something recent, towards the back end of the season - 2-3 weeks before the end,'' he said.
"We had a few games on artificial grass (away) which I avoided for obvious reasons. After that it (patella injury) happened during training and I've been battling ever since with that.
"I can't change it, can't cry about it, I've just got to get on with it and do what I can to get as fit as I can.
"I've been on the pitch for almost a week now, training really well, not been modified to any extent so hopefully I can continue.
"Maybe do a bit extra to get some fitness under my belt, get some minutes on the weekend so that'll be that. Otherwise I feel good."
Juric admitted the Antalya camp was intense.
"It's close to club football. A lot of European boys would be used to this kind of thing,'' Juric said.
"I was in Holland for a bit and we were on a similar road, although we played a different style."