Chris Herd has reiterated his "strong desire and determination" to play for Australia after missing out on a call-up for next month's World Cup qualifier against Jordan and the preceding friendly against Lebanon.
The 23-year-old Villa midfielder scored on Tuesday in the 3-0 victory over Tranmere Rovers in the Capital One Cup and he looks set to push on in the claret and blue shirt after scoring at Anfield and producing several man-of-the-match displays last season - his first as a regular for Villa in the Barclays Premier League.
Herd also featured in the Premier League game against Everton on Saturday and he is working hard to convince Paul Lambert that he can become an integral part of the team emerging under the new Villa manager.
The dynamic academy graduate has been left frustrated after injury forced him out of recent Australian squads, but these setbacks have only reinforced his motivation to make an impact for his country when he is next given the opportunity.
"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," said Herd, who has represented Australia at U20 level having left home at the age of 15 to advance himself through Villa's academy system.
"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 focussed primarily on my responsibilities as a player for Villa and the win over Tranmere on Tuesday night was very pleasing. The gaffer has made it clear that we want to go as far as we can in the competition and that's what we'll be trying hard to do.
"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.
"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 was first called up by Socceroos coach Holger Oseick for the World Cup qualifiers against Oman and Thailand in November 2011 but was forced to withdraw from the squad when he suffered an ankle ligament injury on November 5 in a Premier League game against Norwich City - then managed by Lambert.
The injury kept him out of action for three weeks and he suffered a similar blow when called up for Australia's friendly against Denmark in June, withdrawing from the squad after rolling the same ankle in the final match of last season on May 13 in the return fixture against Norwich at Carrow Road.
Herd withdrew from the Socceroos squad for the friendly against Scotland at Easter Road earlier this month due to a thigh strain picked up in the friendly against Peterborough on August 1.
He was forced off after 27 minutes at London Road and remained unavailable for Villa's final pre-season games against Nottingham Forest and Werder Bremen, only resuming full training on the day before the opening Premier League encounter of the season at West Ham.
He remained on the bench that day and made his first start of the season against Everton.
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