Fit-again Georg Niedermeier admits his first A-League season for Melbourne Victory hasn't gone completely to plan. But the towering stopper, out of contract at season's end, is interested in signing for another campaign with one important caveat.
A string of issues and a noteworthy suspension have kept the German to 10 starts. His most recent outing, a 2-0 win over Perth Glory, was just his second clean sheet. But with the benefit of a long recuperation over January and no Asian Champions League duties, the German is ready to contribute over the run-in.
"I have had a couple of setbacks this season but at the moment I am feeling really good and confident," he said.
It wasn't always this way. There were two concussions in the league's opening month, a sprained ankle and a rushed return from a calf injury. Then came a red card in February's Melbourne derby that left coach Kevin Muscat so furious he couldn't look at his import as Niedermeier trudged off.
"I am pretty sure I didn't lose his trust. He knows it can happen in soccer. I personally apologised to the team, but it's not something you do on purpose," Niedermeier said.
"I don't feel like I have to make something up. ... I just want to help the team when I am on the pitch."
While Niedermeier partnered with James Donachie -- for the first time -- to keep out Perth, Muscat has a decision to make on his back four against Sydney FC on Saturday with Olyroos tourist Thomas Deng ready to resume.
It could be the German is preferred at the SCG as Muscat keeps an eye to next week's away ACL clash with Guangzhou Evergrande.
Neidermeier said it was difficult to watch his teammates participate on the Asian stage without him. If he is to stay another season at Victory, he'd want to be a part of it.
"To be honest it is disappointing because you always want to be in the special moments with the team," he said. "I'm professional enough to put that aside and still give 100 percent, although I have to admit if I stayed another season I would want to be in the squad of course.
"I could imagine staying another season in Australia ... we can talk after the season. At the moment I am focusing on the important matches coming up, especially against Sydney."