Nasser Al Shamrani ‘unprofessional’ – Tomi Juric

Juric is already well acquainted with the reigning AFC Player of the Year, who received an eight-match AFC Champions League ban for spitting at and attempting to head-butt Matthew Spiranovic following Al-Hilal’s aggregate loss to Western Sydney Wanderers in the final of last year’s competition.

The 31-year-old is back in the spotlight for the wrong reasons just over a week out from the AFC Asian Cup kicking off, the latest altercation taking place before a 4-1 friendly loss to Bahrain at Simonds Stadium.

“I guess it’s nothing new for him,” Juric said when quizzed on the incident.

“That’s just the person he is. He has to change himself or step away from the spotlight … I just thought that was very unprofessional of him.”

Saudi Arabia and Al Shamrani may now be dreading their next warm-up game, which is against South Korea in Parramatta on Sunday.

Asked if the Western Sydney faithful are likely to give pantomime villain Al Shamrani a hostile reception, Juric said: “Yeah, I’m pretty sure they would to be honest.”

Club matters are not the happiest subject for Juric at the moment though, with the centre-forward and his team-mate Matthew Spiranovic unable to help Tony Popovic’s side in their quest to record a first win of the A-League season.

The beaten grand finalists and reigning Asian champions are at home to the Central Coast Mariners on Thursday, followed by the visit of Melbourne Victory on Tuesday.

If they are to finally get off the mark in 2014-15, they must do so without two key men, as Spiranovic and Juric are put through their paces by Ange Postecoglou and his Socceroos coaching staff.

“It’s always difficult to leave your club, especially in a situation like that,” Juric said.

“You want to help your team out the best you can.”
If he does need a distraction from Western Sydney’s plight, Juric would do well to focus on the battle to earn a starting berth in Australia’s forward line for the Asian Cup.

Certainly not short of self-belief, the 23-year-old claimed he has what it takes to succeed veteran star Tim Cahill as his country’s chief attacking threat.

“I think it’s possible for myself to do that,” he said.

“I believe in my abilities and that’s why I’m here in the national team. Everyone’s here because they’re good enough to be here. You just need to work hard, keep your discipline and things will eventually come.”

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