Utrecht’s start to their 2013/14 campaign couldn’t have begun any worse with the Dutch club being knocked out of the Europa League by Luxembourg’s FC Differdange 03. This disappointment was compounded by them only winning one of their first seven matches in all competitions. Socceroo attacker Tommy Oar can see a change for the better on the horizon.
“It was extremely disappointing to be eliminated from the Europa League so early, but since then, although our performances have improved a lot we have struggled to put the points on the board,” said Tommy Oar.
“We have several new players this season and already you can see people are becoming more accustomed to each others styles and to how the trainer wants us to play. We are confident that with persistence the results will turn around for us.”
According to Oar, coach Jan Wouters has remained positive with his young but inconsistent chargers and continued to encourage them to play their natural game and express themselves.
“This gives us players more confidence and in turn will hopefully lead to better results like we had last season,” said Oar.
As for his own form this season, Oar admits to be struggling for consistency much like his team which has been made more difficult through niggling injury concerns. “Much like the team, it’s been a fairly mixed and inconsistent start,” admitted Oar. “I’ve struggled to be 100% fit since the first few rounds of the season, eventually breaking down with my current back injury,”
This injury forced Oar out of the Socceroos last two matches against France and Canada respectively as well as Utrecht’s recent 4-2 home win over NAC Breda.
“I’m quite frustrated with myself, however, I’ve been working quite hard on and off the field in the past weeks to ensure I come back stronger, ready and dedicated to improve on my performances from last season,” promised the pacy forward.
Oar has become an integral member of both the national team and his club in the last 12 months.
With his delivery and set-pieces he is a key provider for goal scoring opportunities. However his own goal-scoring contribution is not so high for a player who spends much of his time in the attacking third. This lack of goals though is not too much of a concern to the player himself who is comfortable in his role and what he brings to the team.
“Of course as an attacking player it is frustrating when you aren’t scoring many goals,” Oar conceded. ” However, my role in the team here (in Holland) is much different then it is for the national team or what it used to be for Brisbane Roar.
“Playing on the left of the diamond midfield, I find myself giving more passes and crosses, as opposed to being in the box or being in goalscoring positions.
“As long as I’m an asset for the team and can provide assists for others to score, I’m not too concerned.
“Getting into those positions to score more frequently is something which I am actively trying to address.” Another Aussie on the injury-comeback trail is midfielder, Adam Sarota. Oar was effusive in his praise of Sarota and the importance of him to the team.
“He is extremely technically gifted and gives the team good balance in the midfield with his accurate passing and high work rate.
“We have a lot of depth in the midfield and attack but Adam’s qualities are unique so we all look forward to having him back in the team,”
Oar also offered his support to Michael Zullo and backed his loan move to the Hyundai A-League where he was sure he would remind everyone what a talented player he was.
“The A-League has improved dramatically with every season and I think his performances in the first two games of the season have proved that it was a great for him,” said Oar.
“With the World Cup so close it is important that everyone is getting minutes and playing with confidence to maximise their chances of being in the squad.
“He is playing in a team which plays good football in a strong league and so far the move has given him confidence and reminded everyone of what a great player he is.”
When asked about why Zullo failed to hold down a regular spot in the Utrecht side, Oar said it was a combination of things from injuries, poor timing and depth.
“When given the opportunity, Michael always performed very well and he was a fantastic asset to our team. He was extremely unlucky with the timing of his injuries, in particular, them not allowing him to ever string numerous games in succession, explained Oar. “This allowed his competitors to have more opportunities than him to stake their claim and made it difficult to get the minutes he would’ve liked.”