Franjic out, McGowan in
Franjic was forced off against Chile with a hamstring injury and will take no further part in the tournament after undergoing scans today. McGowan, normally a centre back, came on for the Brisbane Roar defender and is the obvious choice to play against the Dutch.
“Obviously everyone as a group is devastated for Ivan,” McGowan said. “The boss has sort of said at the start that the 23 have to be ready and if he calls on me for the game against the Dutch then I’ll be more than happy to come on and try my best.
McGowan admits bringing him in at fullback will change the game-plan but said he is comfortable on the right.
“Yeah it does,” the Shandon Luneng Taishan stopper said. “I played a lot of rght back in Scotland when I was at Hearts but for the last 18 months it has been in more centre back. But I’ll go out there and try my best. It’s not a really strange position for me, I’ll try and get forward as much as I can.
“The way Leckie played last night, there’s not too much, it’s sort of give me the ball and let him do it, make sure I’m there when he loses it. It’ll be up to the boss in what he wants to do on Wednesday.”
McGowan said the Socceroos’ performance against Chile showed how far the national team had come.
“We’ve lost to a top 15 team and we’re disappointed to lose,” the 24-year old said. “We really did believe if we got a second we could have got a third. It didn’t happen but we’re very proud of how we’ve played.”
The former Hearts defender was reasonably happy with his own display against Chile and is looking forward to tackling Van Persie, Robben, Schneijder and co in Porto Alegre.
“There was a few things I could have done better, there was a few things I did well but it was a difficult situation coming into a game,” he said.
“But I thought I handled it OK. It was good to get those minutes and get some confidence under my belt.”
‘It’’s a good challenge. It’s something that we’re not going to take a backward step. The boss has said that the whole time. They’ve been bigger upsets in the World Cup then if we get a result against Holland. Yeah they played well against the Spanish the other day but no-one saw that result coming.”