McDonald finds soccer club form again
Scott McDonald is banging in the goals again and building a strong case to earn another shot at making his mark with the Socceroos.
The 29-year-old striker scored his fourth goal in three games in Middlesbrough's 4-1 win over Charlton on Saturday, a result that moved them into second spot in the Championship.
After being well and truly on the outer with manager Tony Mowbray only a few months ago, McDonald looks to have cemented himself as a starting player and is one of the league's form strikers.
It's not the first time McDonald has struck hot form at domestic level - he did so frequently in three seasons with Celtic and averages a goal every three matches in club games.
But the striker has never been able to transfer that form onto the international stage and is still yet to score in 26 games for Australia.
McDonald's international career has looked on its last legs several times but he played half a match in the 3-1 loss to Scotland in August and Australian coach Holger Osieck hinted then it wouldn't be his last chance.
If McDonald can continue his form, he could still have a part to play in next year's crucial 2014 Brazil World Cup qualifiers.
Mowbray believes McDonald is just getting started this season and predicted he would quickly add to his four goals and move up the scoring charts.
"Let's hope he keeps ticking along all season and gets himself into double figures soon," Mowbray said after the win over Charlton.
The diminutive striker's goals have mostly come in and around the six-yard box and Mowbray said he was a genuine goal poacher, something the Socceroos have lacked.
"He knows where the ball is going to drop and he's sharp around the box," Mowbray said.
In the English Premier League, Socceroos goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer had a busy night in the net in Fulham's 2-2 draw at home with Everton.
The Australian notched up six saves in Saturday's match, but conceded two goals to Marouane Fellaini.
Brett Holman came off the bench late in Aston Villa's 1-0 away win to Sunderland.