The 23-year-old midfielder's allegiances have been questioned after he withdrew from three Socceroos squads, but he has sent a clear message to Australia coach Holger Osieck
|By JAMES RANSON
Aston Villa midfielder Chris Herd has reiterated his desire to play for Australia in the future.
The 23-year-old - also eligible to represent Scotland - has pulled out of Socceroos squads three times, prompting manager Holger Osieck to query Herd's commitment and immediate international prospects.
Osieck hinted at displeasure over Herd's apparent indifference to selection but the Villa man quickly moved to dampen any thoughts of a lack of motivation.
"There's no question that I want to represent my country and I'll be as proud as anyone could possibly be whenever I do that," Herd told Aston Villa's official website.
"Unfortunately, I've suffered injuries at really bad times which prevented me from playing in World Cup qualifiers last season and in a friendly in Denmark at the end of the season.
"But I remain committed to achieving the breakthrough at international level, I have a really strong desire to do so and I'll be working hard to make sure I'm part of the squad in future.
"Obviously, I'm focused primarily on my responsibilities as a player for Villa ... but I'm also very determined to force myself into the Australian squad and win my first cap, which will hopefully happen in the very near future."
Herd was overlooked for September 11's AFC World Cup qualifier against Jordan and preceding friendly against Lebanon, with Osieck casting doubts on his place in the set-up after naming his squad.
"I wanted to give him a chance to look at how he does in our group," Osieck told reporters on Wednesday.
"I wasn't actually convinced. I just wanted to open the door for him. Then he had to decline from invitations three times, so I never really got a chance to see him again.
"I think at present, I don't really see him in a situation to help our team."
Herd was first called up for the Socceroos for World Cup qualifiers against Oman and Thailand in November 2011, but was forced to withdraw from the squad with ankle ligament damage.
The dynamic midfielder was called up again in June this year to face Denmark but pulled out with the same problem and withdrew from Australia's clash with Scotland on August 1 with a thigh complaint.
"The qualifier against Jordan will be a very important game and I wish the lads all the best in winning both there and also in the friendly game before that against Lebanon," Herd said.