Leckie: I'll happily take Tim's spot

In-form attacker Matthew Leckie is happy to play up front in the absence of Tim Cahill or in his usual spot on the right wing when the Socceroos tackle Spain.

The 23-year old also says he has been flattered by the reviews he has been getting for his World Cup performances but has no regrets agreeing to join German club FC Ingolstadt before the tournament.

Leckie has been impressive on the flank for Australia against Chile and the Netherlands, but has experience in playing both as a central forward and as a winger. Ange Postecgolou has to decide who will lead the line for the Socceroos with Cahill suspended.

“I’m not sure, we haven’t discussed that at all [yet],” Leckie said today. “No-one knows yet. Obviously I’ve been successful on the wing there so, whether Ange wants me to play in the middle or on the side, I’ll be happy for both.

“Also playing as a striker you get those chances on goal you see Timmy has and he’s be very clinical of putting those chances away.”

Cahill is not the only Socceroo to be missing for the Spain game, with injured Mark Bresciano and Mark Milligan also unlikely to be fit.

Leckie has been given a $10 million price tag by some pundits because of his impressive World Cup performances, and the former Adelaide Red admits it’s a good feeling.

“It’s always good to hear,” he said. “For me it’s all about trying to reach the highest level I can as a footballer. I had a great season at my club and now I’ve moved on to a club that’s ambitious to go up to the first Bundesliga so I’m excited for that as well.

“That’s a new start for me. For the national team as well, I’ve only been on the scene know for probably six months. Before that I was really in and out. For me it was very important to give it my best and try and stamp my position in the national team.

“Hopefully if I can keep up my performances and stay confident, I’m sure I should be able to start off the coming season with a good start. I’ve definitely got a lot of confidence coming out of this World Cup as well.”

After moving from the A-League to Borussia Monchengladbach in 2011, Leckie spent two season with FSV Frankfurt but has agreed to join Bundesliga II side FC Inglostadt after the World Cup.
Asked if he regretted the decision, the Bulleen Lions junior said “everything happens for a reason”.

“Obviously I didn’t know what was going to come with this World Cup but I made the decision myself to move to my new club,” Leckie said.

“For me, it was important to take that step forward. For me, I’d say everything happens for a reason. Whether I could have had other offers now, after this World Cup, if I hadn’t signed, I never would have known that before.

“But I’m still excited for what’s coming ahead with FC Ingolstadt in Germany.”

Leckie made his debut for Australia in 2012 and is enjoying getting regular game with the Socceroos.

“I love it every time I’m part of the national team,” he said. “To be able to be with the boys. It’s a professional environment so everything’s done professionally and the level's higher again. I feel like if you’re part of the national team on a regular basis then you start to feel like you really mean something. You can go back to your club and become a sort of a leader.

“I’ve worked hard to be part of this team. Ange has given me this opportunity to play and I’ve delivered with some good performances. It helps as well with the national team, the way we’ve played over these last two games is some of the best football the country’s played in a long time.

“That’s definitely helped me as well. I’ve taken that opportunity in these two games and hopefully I can put a good performance in against Spain as well. If we can get a good result, and hopefully a win, I think we’ve taken a lot out of this World Cup.”