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

Roos calling but Cahill puts City in focus

AAP logoAAP 19/12/2016 Emma Kemp

A massive 2017 looms for the Socceroos, but Tim Cahill has his sights set firmly on contributing to Melbourne City's A-League title push.

Cahill's fitness has been as much a recent talking point as his thrilling big-match moments after he was left out of a Socceroos squad last month for the first time in coach Ange Postecoglou's tenure.

While Postecoglou insists the 37-year-old all-time leading Socceroos goalscorer remains a key cog in his national team set-up, there's no guarantee for how long and, crucially, if he'll play a fourth World Cup in Russia.

Cahill's physical condition will be the pivotal factor in his involvement in next year's crunch World Cup qualifiers and the Confederations Cup.

Perhaps in acknowledgement of the importance the coach places on consistent club football, he centred next year's goals solely around his domestic form.

"My target now is the next 10 games for Melbourne City," Cahill said at Monday's A-League summer of football launch.

"It's really important for us now, the next phase of our development.

"You see the style of football we're playing and also how we're improving - there's always progression.

"For me personally, hopefully people can see the effort I'm putting in to stay on the pitch, to be involved in the A-League as much as possible and fully commit to being as fresh and competitive as possible."

City have slipped from second to fourth after the weekend's 2-1 derby loss allowed Melbourne Victory and Brisbane to leapfrog John van 't Schip's star-studded side.

Cahill, who scored the opener at AAMI Park, disagreed with van 't Schip's assessment that the below-par display was partly down to big-match fatigue.

He predicted a busy Christmas and January period would prove vital as City chase rampant leaders Sydney FC, who extended their lead at the summit to seven points with a 4-1 trouncing of Perth.

And Cahill felt Sky Blues skipper Alex Brosque may have been taken out of context when remarking that every Sydney win put rivals at a further psychological disadvantage, as other teams begin to believe Graham Arnold's outfit are running away with the title.

"Alex is a very down-to-earth guy," he said.

"They're out in front, they deserve to be out in front.

"They've been resilient, and at the moment they're the team to catch up.

"There's a lot of football left and Melbourne City will be totally focused on picking up a lot of points in the next 10 games.

"You've got to level it out and to win the A-League, from what I've seen in the past, you have to win two thirds of the season. So it's going to be a big second phase for us."

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon