Mark Viduka is nowhere near 100% fit, and is still trying to shake off his niggly little hamstring problems.
Mark Viduka – still working to get fully fit
Mark talked to the Newcastrle Journal this morning:
â€œIâ€™m not at my strongest, Iâ€™m still working my way back to that because I had a couple of niggling injuries. As you get older it gets tougher to shake them off and Iâ€™m into my 30s now”
â€œWhen youâ€™re young you recover quicker, you can shake things off and you can play with the knocks. It doesnâ€™t affect you as much, but Iâ€™m not that age any more. I just have to accept that and do the best I can.â€
Viduka is still considering retiring from International competition but still hasnâ€™t made a final decision on that. Some solution may be possible where Viduka only turns out for his country in qualifying games â€“ may be worked out, but itâ€™s a long way for him to travel and heâ€™d be happier if he called it a day with Australia.
â€œItâ€™s a really tough decision for me with Australia because Iâ€™m at the age where I have to look after my body and get the most out of it that I can,â€
â€œI love meeting up with the guys and representing my country, but I want to play for Newcastle for as long as, and as often as, I can. I want to be able to give 100% to Newcastle.”
“I might be able to pick and choose international games, but Iâ€™m having a chat with the coach at the weekend so weâ€™ll see what comes from that.â€
Now 32 years old, the Melbourne-raised striker feels at home at Newcastle these days and loves playing for Kevin Keegan. Mark is certainly showing some top form for Newcastle, even though he may still be only 80% fit.
Mark and his family have been in England and Scotland now for quite a few years, and he’s certainly getting used to it here, as he continued:
â€œWeâ€™ve been in England for so long now we see it as our home,â€
â€œAfter I finish playing Iâ€™ll see what I want to do and have a little break before deciding. Maybe if I miss it that much I might go into coaching.â€
Viduka has always been injury prone and we think playing for Australia will not only add to his injury problems, but trips back to Australia can get fairly exhausting.
We think the more success Mark has under Kevin Keegan the more likely he is to finally give up International football and concentrate on playing only for Newcastle, which will hopefully add a season or two to his career.
What do you think?
Comments very welcome.