BY JOHN DAVIDSON: Forward Nathan Burns says he isn’t getting carried away with interest from the Chinese Super League and is focused purely on Australia and the Asian Cup.
Shanghai Shenhua have targeted Burns, who is off contract in June, following the striker’s 10-goal haul with A-League outfit Wellington Phoenix.
“There’s a bit of interest but it’s a long way off anything,” the 26-year old said.
“This tournament is my focus. What happens after this tournament, obviously it’s a little while away yet.
“It’s good to have interest but my main focus is this team. If you playing well there’s always going to be interest, that’s part of it.
“I’m always open to new challenges but what’s meant to be is meant to be. I don’t really look too far ahead because football can change overnight. I’ll just sit back and see what happens.”
Burns came on the second half as the Socceroos pushed for a third goal in their Asian Cup quarter-final clash with China. Two goals from Tim Cahill saw Australia through to the semi-finals.
“He’s a freak,” Burns said.
“He can be quiet in games and then he’s there for that one moment and he produces time and time again. That’s why he’s worth millions and millions because he comes up in the big situations. That’s why having him in the team you know that he’s going to bring it. There’s never any doubt is there.”
Burns said Cahill’s greatest quality is his confidence.
“He will tell you he’s not the most technically gifted player but he’ll also tell you he’ll score today. He believes in himself, he backs himself.
“If you can take half of that confidence off Timmy, put it into your own game, it will be a great achievement. I think that’s the most important thing you can learn off him.”
Burns said his own confidence was riding high post-match.
“I just need that last bit of luck,” he said.
“But I’m feeling good physically, I think that’s the key. When you’re physically good you’re more confident.”
The Socceroos will now play the UAE or Japan in Newcastle. Burns paid credit to China and the atmosphere both sets of fans created at Suncorp Stadium.
“I think it was a great performance, they’re a great team and they’re only going to get stronger as well,” he said.
“Full credit to the boys in this game. In the first half an hour with the pitch and the wet surface it was kind of congested. Full credit to us for the two goals and I think we could have got more in the end.
“The atmosphere was very good, for both teams. That’s the best part of the game sometimes, when you’ve got both Aussie and Chinese fans committed to the game - it’s brilliant.”