Forgotten Socceroo Scott McDonald says his treatment "stank" when he was dropped from the 2010 World Cup squad — and he's not holding his breath for a recall for Brazil.
Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou will name his squad for next month’s friendly against Ecuador this week, which will be played at Millwall’s The Den, McDonald’s current home ground.
Despite the link, McDonald hasn’t played in green and gold since August 2012 and told FourFourTwo he hadn't heard a word from the Socceroos set-up recently, despite being a regular in the Championship this season alongside Millwall team-mate and fellow Australian Shane Lowry.
“I’ve had no contact from anyone from FFA for a very long time,” McDonald said. “According to Bresc (Mark Bresciano), Ange was going to come and watch us and speak to us, but nothing like that came about, either for me or Shane in the last few weeks.
“If either of us get a call-up for the game at Millwall, we’ll be delighted, but I’m not focused on it. Club football is the most important thing for me, it pays the bills.
"The rest of it, at this stage of my career, is an absolute bonus.”
McDonald is the first to admit he hasn’t been able to smash down the Socceroos selection door this season, only managing three goals and two assists in 25 appearances.
However the Melbourne-born attacker has rarely played up front over the past 18 months, used largely out wide or in behind the strikers, and he said he's added versatility to his game.
At 30, McDonald insists he still has years left in the tank — and still has a burning desire to be part of the 2014 World Cup, after he cruelly missed out in 2010.
The former Celtic man had been a key part of Australia’s qualifying campaign four years ago, but missed the final squad under Pim Verbeek, something he admitted cut deep
“I’d love to go to a World Cup. I felt like I was unfairly treated at the last one, where I was dropped at the last minute for reasons that were never given,” McDonald said.
“Especially after playing in every qualifier and then to get left out for inexperienced younger players, it hurt.
“I’m not going to tell any lies, it stank, but that’s football.”
McDonald, who has notoriously never scored in his 26 caps for the Socceroos, said he would still be in the stands at The Den for the the friendly against Ecuador if he was overlooked for selection.
“I went to the game against Canada at Fulham's ground. I’m not a bitter person,” he said. "I was hugely upset and angry at one point at not playing at the World Cup — who’s not going to be given the circumstances I was in? — but I still shook everyone’s hand before they went to South Africa and wished them the best.
“I respect all the players and loved working with them all. I always support my country. It’s a very tough group but it’ll be a fantastic experience for a lot of the boys.
“Obviously the country is looking to the future but I wouldn’t say I’m over the hill at 30 years of age either, so I’d like to think there’s still an opportunity for me.”
McDonald also clarified his situation at Millwall, following the arrival of new boss Ian Holloway in January.
The Australian didn’t train with Millwall for two days at the end of the January transfer window, but McDonald said he’d been given an opportunity by Holloway to go away and weigh up his future, amid reported interest from an unnamed Chinese club.
“(Millwall) asked me. It’s a difficult one to speak about. It never came from my end,” he said. “I was approached and asked if I would consider something and went away and had a think.
“But I was happy to stand my ground and stick around. We’re all happy I’m still there, the manager is great like that, but I never had a fallout or anything like that.”
McDonald also rubbished suggestions of a link with Scottish club Hibernian during January.
“Truth be told given what’s been going on financially up there (in Scotland), I don’t think they can compete with the Championship,” he said. “That story was totally nonsense about me going to Hibs.”
McDonald said Holloway’s arrival at Millwall had been positive for him, with the club battling the drop.
“He wants people to get on the ball and be brave. It’s his philosophy and it’s a lot like the Brendan Rodgers way,” he said. “It takes a brave character to do what he wants to do and it’s not easy when you’re down the table, but we’re getting some confidence and I think we’ll be fine this year.”
Millwall lost to fellow strugglers Barnsley 1-0 on Saturday and are currently 21st, just above the drop zone.