Leckie eyes new Socceroos role after big Ange ‘change’
MATHEW Leckie hopes his Socceroos wing-back days are over ahead of Bert van Marwijk's first game in charge against Norway on Saturday morning (AEST).
The Hertha Berlin winger was moved to an unfamiliar position during the latter stages of Ange Postecoglou's reign when he opted for a controversial 3-5-2 formation.
Leckie, who's played his whole career out wide or up front, admitted while he was disappointed to see Postecoglou quit after qualifying for the World Cup, he's happy to go back to playing in a new system.
Van Marwijk has refused to say what his favoured formation will be against Norway but the players have been working with a 4-2-3-1 line-up during training this week.
"It was a change for me," Leckie said.
"I never played the position, but towards the end and throughout it I adapted to it.
"For one of my strengths, I try to bring a lot of power, energy and aggression to the game.
"In that right wing back role ... maybe I was not as free in an attacking sense.
"Maybe going back to the four at the back I can play in a more attacking role and take more risks." Leckie, who'll win his 50th cap in Oslo, has endured a mixed season following his move to the German capital at the start of the season.
He got off to a flying start with four goals in the first five games of the season but the team failed to build on that strong opening and have slipped down to mid-table.
Leckie has been omitted from the side for the last two matches with coach Pal Dardai leaving him on the bench for the recent win over Hamburg and a 0-0 draw with Freiburg.
The 27-year-old admits it has been frustrating as he was praised by the coach after a fine 0-0 draw with the runaway leaders Bayern Munich and a narrow 1-0 loss to second-placed Schalke.
"I made the move to a bigger club, with bigger expectations, and its been a bit of an up and down season," he said.
"He (Dardai) changes a lot.
"There's been players who were important at the start of the season, you felt that they were the ones to do a job.
"His mood changes towards players and that's just the way it is. "He said I had been playing well and training well.
"You want to be playing, but if you are doing all the right things, you just have to be patient." Leckie has spent the last seven years in Germany and is keen to stay with Hertha.
But he concedes he may have to look elsewhere if doesn't get regular football. "You never know, I am happy," he said.
"I started off really well, got a few goals.
"Even though I am not playing week in week out, when I do, I feel like I am playing pretty solid and playing good games.
"We have a World Cup coming up and you never know how that goes, hopefully for the team we can do well but also on a personal level it can change a lot of things.
"We'll see what happens."