29 Nov 2008
- Written by Bristol Evening Post
- Hits: 1034
Stern John believes a long-term future with Bristol City will help fuel his World Cup ambitions.On loan from Southampton, the much-travelled striker hopes to earn himself a permanent contract with the Robins when the January transfer window swings open five weeks from now.
Should such a deal be forthcoming, John is confident regular first team football in the Coca-Cola Championship will enhance his prospects of a prolonged run in the Trinidad & Tobago national side.
Having spearheaded the Warriors' attack during the last World Cup finals in Germany two years ago – John was a member of the Trinidad side which frustrated England for 80 minutes before losing 2-0 in the group stages – he is now intent upon representing his country at the next global jamboree in South Africa in 2010.
He revealed: "My dream is to play in two different World Cup finals.
"Not many players can say they have played twice on the biggest stage of all, but I have a chance to do just that.
"If Trinidad qualify for South Africa, I want to be there with them. But for that to happen, I need to be playing regular first team football in England. Ideally, that will be with Bristol City."
Southampton's leading goal-scorer last season, John's opportunities have been strictly limited this term, owing to the financial crisis which means the Saints are unable to pay his wages.
If he is to further his international ambitions, John must find another club – and quickly.
I can build with Dele or Nicky
He admits: "It will make it much easier for the Trinidad manager to select me if I'm playing and scoring goals over here. It's simple really – doing the one thing will take care of the other.
"Trinidad don't play another World Cup qualifier until February, by which time I'd like to think I'll be playing for Bristol City on a permanent basis.
"I've said all along, I hope to do well enough in the time before my loan is up to persuade (City manager) Gary Johnson to offer me a contract."
John certainly did his prospects no harm, linking up effectively with Nicky Maynard and presenting his younger partner with the chance to put City ahead in Tuesday's home clash with Watford.
The Hornets came back to salvage a draw, but John did enough to suggest he could again partner Maynard in this evening's Sky-televised match against Preston North End at Deepdale (5.20).
A veteran of numerous strike partnerships, both in the Championship and Barclays Premier League, John has already seen enough of Maynard to feel confident the pair can strike up an understanding.
"It takes time for strikers to learn one another's game," reasons John. "But I enjoyed playing alongside Nicky the other night and I felt we worked quite well together.
"You need a run of games together to really get things right, but I got the touch which made the goal for him and he took his chance very well indeed.
"It's early days, but I'd like to think I can build a partnership with Nicky, or Dele Adebola or any of the other strikers here for that matter."
Manager Johnson deployed two strikers for the first time in three games in midweek, but may opt to revert to a 4-5-1 formation against Preston.
Should John be relegated to the bench, he will understand. He said: "Every game is different and the manager must pick a team based on the opposition.
"Sometimes that will entail two strikers playing up front together, on other occasions he will go with one and select an extra midfielder.
"Hopefully, I've done enough to start again, but we'll just have to wait and see."