BELGRADE - On-loan Cologne winger Zoran Tosic knows he needs to keep repeating performances like his two-goal display at the weekend to impress Serbia coach Radomir Antic enough to make his country's World Cup squad.
Tosic, loaned to Cologne by Manchester United in January, scored his first two goals for the Bundesliga club in their 4-1 win at Hanover, the first a dazzling solo effort from 20 metres.
Tosic, capped 18 times, was utilised as an impact substitute for Serbia during their impressive World Cup qualifying campaign, but is not assured of a spot in Antic's 23-man squad for the finals in South Africa.
"The coach has made very few changes to his starting eleven throughout the qualifiers and there were hardly any new faces in the post-qualification build-up," Tosic told Belgrade media after his effervescent performance against Hanover.
"It shows how difficult it is break into the squad and I will play my socks off until the end of the season to earn my place in the World Cup squad."
Tosic, a natural left wing with plenty of tricks in his repertoire, joined United from Serbian champions Partizan Belgrade in January 2009, but has made only two first team appearances so far for the English champions.
"As for my club future, I've been told that United staff will be watching my progress and I will know after the World Cup whether I will stay at Old Trafford or move on," he added.
With some of Serbia's key players going through a quiet spell with their clubs, Tosic has an opportunity to really impress Antic.
Nikola Zigic is down the pecking order at Valencia, Darko Lazovic is still adjusting to life at Zenit St. Petersburg after his move from PSV Eindhoven earlier this month while Marko Pantelic is playing in fits and starts for Ajax Amsterdam.
Wingers Milan Jovanovic and Milos Krasic, both ahead of Tosic in Antic's favourite 4-4-2 formation, have also been in mediocre form recently.
Red Star Belgrade striker Dejan Lekic, like Tosic, is also making an impact at the right time.
He netted a brace as the Serbian league leaders beat Vojvodina Novi Sad 3-0 - his first two goals since the December-February winter break.
Lekic has shone for Red Star since his move from second division Zemun last year and was one of those new faces handed an opportunity to impress in friendlies after Serbia qualified for the June 11-July 11 finals in South Africa.comments