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Shattered Cahill says City's exit deserved

NZN 23/04/2017 Ben McKay

Tim Cahill has been shattered by Melbourne City's early A-League finals exit, calling on the club to hold underperformers accountable.

At their time of reckoning, City were lacklustre and timid in Sunday night's elimination final with Perth Glory.

The 2-0 loss means City make their earliest finals exit in three years.

Socceroos great Cahill confesses to being dumbstruck by the defeat, because the club had the talent to be champions.

"I can't believe the season's over. I honestly can't," Cahill said after the match.

"I've been sitting in (the locker room) contemplating that next week we won't even be training.

"I know we could have given a lot more tonight ... we've definitely got a talented group of players.

"In this big game, which meant so much to our club, we have to be held accountable as players to do better.

"We finished where we deserved to finish and that was getting knocked out."

Owing mainly to Cahill's monster wage - subsidised by FFA's marquee fund - City's squad is the richest ever seen by the A-League.

Midfielder Luke Brattan, who was surprisingly overlooked for a starting role against Perth, savaged the club's overall season, saying "of course it is a failure".

"The City Group and Melbourne City are about being successful," he said.

"That's why all this money has been invested. Facilities. Coaching staff. Background staff. Players.

"I said during the week this is the best squad I've been a part of.

"You can have the best individual players but if you don't play well as a team and don't do the right things on the park, then you're not going to get anywhere."

Another major off-season renovation for City now seems inevitable.

Michael Valkanis - who himself is unlikely to see his tenure extended as coach - confirmed the departures of veteran Danish goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen and Argentine marquee Nicolas Colazo in the aftermath of the defeat.

That means City have at least two vacant international slots, including a marquee wage, to fill.

The club's three other foreigners - captain Bruno Fornaroli, defender Michael Jakobsen and injured attacker Fernando Brandan - are contracted for next season.

Goalkeeper Dean Bouzanis is out of contract, with Adelaide United captain Eugene Galekovic a rumoured arrival.

A question mark hangs over Manchester City loanees Brattan and Anthony Caceres, who didn't start in Sunday's defeat, while unsecured full-back Josh Rose is likely to be moved on.

Cahill - who didn't criticise any of his team-mates individually after the loss - suggested the club's on-field character needed to change.

"We definitely wanted it but what you want and what you're trying to do are two different things," he said.

"We're a nice team with nice footballers.

"We tried to fight (but) the battles that were there to be won, we didn't win them."

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