You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Cahill not sure on A-League derby start

AAP logoAAP 13/12/2016 Ben McKay

Socceroo Tim Cahill isn't sure whether he'll start or even play a part in Saturday's A-League derby but that isn't putting a dampener on Melbourne City's confident build-up to the match.

The 37-year-old has started in the previous two derbies since joining the A-League title aspirants, which have both produced City wins.

But Cahill said he was still suffering the lingering effects of Josh Brillante's tackle in the FFA Cup final, and his hand was "not yet" in the air to start.

"I took quite a nasty knock. I've got to put myself together," he said on Tuesday.

"Hopefully, I'll play a part this week," he concluded, suggesting that watching on from the stands was a distinct possibility.

The Socceroos' record scorer has played just 12 minutes plus injury time in two league matches since then, 1-1 draws against Brisbane and Sydney FC.

Cahill has been managed carefully by City, with coach John van 't Schip, medical staff and Cahill deciding on an approach to each match on a weekly basis.

Cahill's possible unavailability hasn't stopped teammate Luke Brattan from talking up City's chances of a third-straight success over Victory - something the club has never achieved.

Brattan said he believed City were the best side in the league and couldn't be matched when on song.

"If we play the way we can - not to sound cocky - but we can beat any team in the league," he said.

"On our day, we play fantastic football - extremely positive going forward.

"The players we've got in the final third are the best in the league, I think.

"You've got to respect Victory. They're a fantastic team. But if we play the best we can, (there will be) no worries."

The midfielder said City's 1-1 result away to Sydney FC was "not good enough" in a gruff post-match assessment of last Friday's table-topping clash.

He said that wasn't intended as a dig at his teammates but rather a statement of where City were aiming.

"Any A-League team would be happy to go to Sydney away and draw 1-1," he said.

"To be disappointed with a draw in Sydney ... that proves our mentality of where we're at."

Cahill backed Brattan's assessment, saying the club's record this season merited confidence.

"We've proved that we can mix it with the best and obviously teams love playing against us," he said.

"They show up ... they want to be physical and they want to put on their best performance because they want to beat us.

"For us, that's a compliment and we really accept that with open arms."

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon