Brett Holman eyes World Cup spot
Brett Holman has the World Cup and a late run for Europe on his mind after scoring in just his second game back from injury for Dutch champions AZ Alkmaar.
Qantas Socceroos- Brett Holman has taken more precaution than usual in his return from injury - but it has paid off with the attacking midfielder finding the back of the net at the weekend.
Holman came on in the 87th minute but scored AZ-s fourth merely three minutes later in the 4-1 win over Heerenveen.
It-s been a lengthy road to recovery for Holman, who tore ankle ligaments in AZ-s final Champions League match against Belgians Standard Liege on December 9.
Though tempted to return to action as possible with the World Cup approaching, Holman said he exercised caution.
“I took a bit more precaution than normal. I took an extra 10 days, even two weeks instead of coming back a few weeks earlier,-- Holman told www.footballaustralia.com.au.
“I didn-t want to risk possibly damaging it again so close to the World Cup because that-s what everyone-s striving for.
“But it-s good to be back on the scene and back with the boys because the season was going so well before the injury.--
Indeed it was for Holman, who-s gone from an impact player last season to a regular starter this year.
He sustained the injury in AZ-s sixth and final Champions League encounter and while it was a disappointing campaign, which ultimately led to the sacking of coach Ronald Koeman, Holman was one of the shining lights.
After a slow start to the Eredivisie season, a defence of the title is out of the question but they-ve started making their run and sit eight points behind fourth place Feyenoord, which would guarantee a Europa League berth.
“We-re definitely going for Europe, we-re looking to get into the Europa League which would be a good achievement after our slow start,-- he said.
Bankstown-born Holman-s also got an eye on South Africa 2010, after playing regularly in the qualifying campaign and missing out on the 2006 squad.
He made 19 starts and scored four goals prior to the injury, while his only two substitute appearances have come in the last fortnight, with new coach Dick Advocaat easing him back into it.
“Hopefully I can get a few more games under my belt before the end of the season and hopefully be fully fit for the Socceroos,-- Holman said.
“The coach has been good, he hasn-t made me risk anything. I-ve started on the bench, but the goal for me is to get back in there and play regularly because before the injury I virtually started every game.
“He (Advocaat) is a friendly guy, he-s down to earth and pretty relaxed and I didn-t expect that. I expected something different, something harder.
“He-s still disciplined and sharp but you can speak to him, he-s easy to have a conversation with and seems to be doing alright with the team.--