Australian defender Bailey Wright is getting ready to face Manchester United in the FA Cup and is also eyeing a spot with the Socceroos to take on Germany next month.
Wright’s Preston North End will host Manchester United at home in the fifth round FA Cup on February 16. The centre back missed the Asian Cup with a groin injury but has returned to full fitness.
Wright told FourFourTwo he is looking forward to the challenge of playing against the Red Devils.
“There’s been plenty of upsets in the FA Cup already this year, so I don’t see why we can’t do the same,” he said.
“There’ll be a full house at Deepdale, which will be a good atmosphere.”
Wright has played against Manchester United’s reserves before, where on that occasion he marked Michael Owen and Federico Macheda and the Lilywhites won 1-0.
Preston North End will surely draw on the knowledge of manager Simon Grayson, who led Leeds United to a famous upset of the Red Devils in the FA Cup in 2010.
Wright has found it tough to break back into the starting XI of the League One side after being out for two months.
“I’m just training hard trying to get back into the team, the boys have been solid and playing well,” he said.
“They [Tom Clarke and Paul Huntington] have formed a strong partnership and made it hard to get back in, which is exactly what you want as a team that’s pushing for promotion. Competition for places is important.”
Preston North End currently sit in fourth place in League One, eight points behind competition leaders Bristol City.
Wright went to the World Cup with the Socceroos and made his international debut for Australia against Saudi Arabia in September, scoring one goal. The 22-year old was excited by the Socceroos’ success in the Asian Cup.
“I really enjoyed following the Asian Cup, I wasn’t able to watch all the games but from what I watched and read the boys played some great stuff and put in very good performances,” he said.
“It’s massive for Aussie football with us winning the Asian Cup for the first time and to do it on home soil was very special. It was good seeing that the hard work that’s been put in on and off the pitch has started to pay off and is hopefully sign a more success to follow.”
The Socceroos next game is against 2014 World Cup winners Germany in Kaiserlautern on March 25.
“It would be great to be back involved with the national team,” Wright admitted.