Meredith keeps Brazil hope alive

Aussie left back James Meredith is targeting an early April return to club football and hasn’t given up on pushing for a late spot in the Socceroos’ World Cup squad for Brazil.

Meredith broke a bone in his foot in training in January and has been out of action for Bradford City since then. But the defender had the boot removed from his foot yesterday and will start running again soon.

“I’ve got to build up my muscle strength,” Meredith said. “I’d like to get back for the start of April.”

Meredith is targeting playing the final 10-12 games for Bradford this season.

The 25-year old Melbourne product was in good form for the Bantams before his injury, racking up 27 appearances for the League One club, and had been tipped for a Socceroo call-up. Cruelly, Meredith was sidelined for Ange Postecoglou’s visit when Bradford took on Bailey Wright and Neil Kilkenny’s Preston North End last month.

But the World Cup remains in his sights.

“Beforehand I was in good form and playing week-in-week-out, and then I missed the game that Ange attended,” Meredith said.

“The World Cup’s still an aspiration for me but my focus right now is Bradford. It’s in the back of my mind. Who knows what will be. The season’s certainly not over for me.”

Meredith travelled down from Yorkshire to London to watch the Socceroos friendly with Ecuador from the stands at The Den last week.

“It was a disappointing result,” he said. “I thought it was all over at half-time. We were a bit unlucky with the red card. They really turned it on, Ecuador.”

Meredith, who moved to the UK in 2004 to join Derby County, said it has been frustrating being forced out for the past two months.

“It’s been what feels like forever,” he said. “It’s the first injury I’ve had in seven years as well. Hopefully I can get back to the form I was in. Who knows with the Socceroos?”

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