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Janko reaching new heights at Salzburg

Published: Monday 10 November 2008, 19.09CET
Having registered his fourth hat-trick of the season on Friday, FC Salzburg forward Marc Janko, 25, has unexpectedly hit the form of his life, despite admitting that "before the season I had set myself a target of 15 goals".
by Harald Saller
from Vienna
Janko reaching new heights at Salzburg
Marc Janko in action for Salzburg in 2006 ©Getty Images
Published: Monday 10 November 2008, 19.09CET

Janko reaching new heights at Salzburg

Having registered his fourth hat-trick of the season on Friday, FC Salzburg forward Marc Janko, 25, has unexpectedly hit the form of his life, despite admitting that "before the season I had set myself a target of 15 goals".
Having registered his fourth hat-trick of the season in a 5-1 win against FK Austria Wien on Friday night, 25-year-old FC Salzburg striker Marc Janko has unexpectedly hit the form of his life, admitting that "before the season I had set myself a target of 15 goals".

Huge tally
Janko is responsible for 20 of Salzburg's 43 goals after 16 games this season and the Viennese striker looks destined to shatter Oliver Bierhoff's club record of 23 goals in a campaign. "Before the season I had set myself a target of 15 goals," said Janko, fresh from recording his third hat-trick in four outings against Austria Wien. "Now I have got to 20. I only need three more to beat Oliver Bierhoff. I definitely want to overtake that record."

Growing pains
The gigantic striker has not always looked capable of setting the scoring charts alight. Discovered at the age of eight by VfB Admira Wacker Mödling, regular growth spurts had left the towering blond striker prone to injuries. He eventually made his Austrian Bundesliga debut in 2004/05, and despite scoring only twice in 13 league appearances, he quickly became a target for the likes of Grazer AK, Austria Wien and Salzburg, with the latter winning the race for the then 22-year-old's services in summer 2005. "The whole package fit," remembered Janko. "Plus the coach back then, Kurt Jara, believed in young players. But it was tough to get established and I did badly in a pre-season training camp."

Bad injuries
Having scored just once that autumn, Janko found his feet in the spring with ten more goals to help Salzburg finish second. That form brought him an international debut in May 2006, but the following season was to be a trying one. While Giovanni Trapattoni's side finished 21 points clear of the pack in 2006/07, hip and ankle problems ruined Janko's season. He scored just twice.

Five enquiries
Eventually returning from his ankle injury in November last season, Janko improved on that tally with five goals in 14 league appearances, and this time around everything has clicked into place, with Salzburg general manager Georg Stangassinger admitting that five teams have already contacted him about the striker's availability. All of a sudden, the world is Janko's oyster, and his dream of a move to England could yet come true. "I definitely want to play in the Premier League," said Janko, who has scored twice in seven games for Austria. "Tottenham [Hotspur FC] especially are among my favourite clubs." If he continues to score at his current rate, Europe's top clubs may find his charms hard to resist.

Last updated: 10/11/08 21.00CET

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