Premier League: Sunderland striker Nacho Scocco chasing World Cup dream
Nacho Scocco is aiming to use his time in the Premier League to force his way into Argentina's World Cup squad.
Last Updated: 17/02/14 3:06pm
After completing a £4million move to Sunderland, the former Newell's Old Boys striker is eager to rediscover his free-scoring form with less than five months until the start of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Scocco made his Black Cats bow on Saturday as they beat Southampton 1-0 to set up an FA Cup quarter-final against manager Gus Poyet's former side Brighton or Steve Bruce's Hull City.
After recovering from injury, the 28-year-old is hoping his move to the Premier League can provide the springboard to rediscover his touch in front of goal after netting 24 times in 33 appearances last season for Argentine outfit Newell's.
"I will work hard to get back to how I played in Argentina and reach the same level from Newell's," he told the Sunderland Echo.
"I know I have to work a lot to get that. I feel good. I want to help the team, but I've had two months without a game.
"It was important that I played 70 minutes against Southampton."
Competition for places in the Argentina attack is fierce, with Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero, Gonzalo Higuan and Ezequiel Lavezzi all at coach Alejandro Sabella's disposal but Scocco is determined to stake his claim.
"It's difficult to play in the national team, because there are many players at the top level," he added.
"But I will try to work every week and every game to try to get there. The World Cup is always on the mind of every player.
"But I know it will be difficult. I think playing in the Premier League will help though."
Scocco was linked with a move to Sunderland during the summer, but when Poyet did make a concrete approach in the January transfer window, Scocco was forced to bide his time before the Black Cats eventually secured a deal 36 hours before the deadline.
"It was difficult last month because I was waiting to see what would happen with me," he said.
"I talked with Gus and talked with my manager in Brazil, to see if I could come to Sunderland. Now I'm here and I want to play now."
Scocco was one of nine changes to the Sunderland starting line-up on Saturday and is now looking to force his way in the Poyet's plans for the Capital One Cup final against Manchester City on March 2.
"It was an important victory for us because we were working towards it during the week and to continue in the cup," added Scocco.
"I will try to play at Wembley and work for this chance.
"We have a lot of good players here, but I will give everything to play in this game."
You can see all the action from Wembley as Manchester City take on Sunderland in the Capital One Cup final live on Sky Sports 1HD and Sky Sports 3D from 12.30pm on March 2.