Trio could make world of difference

Late misery: Daniel Bogdanovic suffered a last-gasp defeat.
Late misery: Daniel Bogdanovic suffered a last-gasp defeat.
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THE latest round of Euro 2012 qualifiers proved a chastening experience for two thirds of Sheffield United’s international contingent.

Nevertheless, as Daniel Bogdanovic and Ched Evans smart after suffering defeats while on duty with Malta and Wales, Micky Adams last night predicted the South Yorkshire club could yet enjoy the benefit of their appearance on the world stage.

United’s campaign for Championship survival resumes with a daunting trip to runaway leaders Queens Park Rangers on Monday.

But the visitors’ preparations received a boost following confirmation that, together with Norway’s Bjorn Helge Riise, the two strikers reported back for duty at Bramall Lane fit, safe and well.

Their call-ups condemned Adams, whose side climbed to 22nd in the table after recently beating arch-rivals Leeds, to an anxious weekend worrying whether they would emerge unscathed.

But, unlike some of his most recent predecessors, the 49-year-old hopes even more members of his squad can gain recognition at the highest level. “I worry when they’re away like anyone else working at domestic level,” Adams told The Star.

“But how can playing for your country be a bad thing?

“In my opinion it can’t and, in both the long and the short term, it surely can only be a good thing for us.

“No matter what happens results wise, the lads come back to us knowing that they’re good enough to represent their countries, which is the biggest honour anyone can get in this game.

“Those boys should be full of confidence and self-belief because of that.

“And, those are qualities that, whatever position you are in, you can’t get enough of.”

“I know you’ve got to be a bit selfish but I’m not one of these managers who doesn’t want his players called up,” added Adams. “The more of them who do then the better it is for us.”

Bogdanovic seemed destined to help Malta gain a point against former European champions Greece before Vassilis Torossidis’ 92nd-minute goal settled the Group F tie in Ta’ Qali while Evans appeared as a second-half substitute for Wales during their 2-0 loss at the hands of England in Group G.

But Riise, on loan from Fulham, retains high hopes of travelling to next year’s tournament in Poland and Ukraine after a 1-1 draw with Denmark left Egil Olson’s squad at the summit of Group H.

The two Scandinavian rivals lock horns at Parken in Copenhagen later this year with Olsen’s counterpart Morten Olsen, whose team are third behind Portugal, describing the derby as “critically important”.

Adams, who also congratulated Shane Lowry for being selected in a training camp designed to assess potential Australia internationals, said: “None of them have come back with any injuries to report which is obviously good news and a relief.”