McKay bullish on Socceroos left-back role

June 8, 2013
By Guy Hand

Socceroos defender Matt McKay is aiming to put the nightmare of Japan behind him, confident he is growing into the national team's problem left-back vacancy.

McKay conceded the penalty which allowed Japan a late equaliser in their 1-1 World Cup qualifier draw last week - and handed the Socceroos an equation of two wins from their last two matches to qualify for Brazil.

It was his sole blemish in an otherwise excellent performance in a position he doesn't play regularly.

Playing a position in which calamity is always just being slightly out of position away - as he found to his cost with the wrong reflex move of his arm in Saitama as a cross skidded over - McKay has still shown he is currently Australia's best left-back option.

Normally a central midfielder, China-based McKay has turned to videos of European Champions League games and how the cream of the world's fullbacks go about their job.

"I feel comfortable. Coming into the national team, I've filled a variety of roles and everyone knows left-back's foreign to me," McKay said on Sunday.

"I've only played it for the national team, but I've really enjoyed it and I've tried to learn as much as I can and I feel I can understand the role a lot better now, and I think I've done well in the last few games."

"Mainly (I've tried to learn from) the German teams. There's a bit of Bundesliga shown in China too, and I've watched a lot of those games."

Former Brisbane Roar skipper McKay looks certain to retain his Australia place for Tuesday night's Melbourne qualifier against Jordan.

His club future may be less certain - admitting his club's Changchun Yatai's poor Chinese Super League form to slump to second bottom has him concerned.

"At the moment I've got a year and a half left on my contract, but I'm just concentrating on these games (qualifiers) because that will change everything about club careers for a lot of the players here."