Cahill hails Socceroos' promising 'group of kids'

Tim Cahill described as "positive" the Socceroos tight 3-2 win over Saudi Arabia on Tuesday morning (AEST), as the new-look national team continues to develop.

Cahill scored Australia’s first goal in the third minute, his 35th international strike, and played the first 69 minutes of the match before being replaced by Tomi Juric.

Post-match, he made particular mention of the promising "group of kids" who he shared the pitch with at Craven Cottage.

“The thing is for us is that we stick to what we know" Cahill said.
"We want to play football and we have to try and dominate games like this.

“We also needed to look at the young boys and give them their chance. Overall, it was positive.

“You never want to concede goals but overall it was one of those ones where we had a good win, some really good debutants tonight as well, and a lot of the boys really showed up well.

“We’ll go back and analyse it, especially the two goals.”

Cahill added: “We were cruising from the start and we knew that we had to start on fire.

“It’s our first taste of the Asian-style of competitors so it was a good test. It’s always great to get a win.”

Cahill’s goal, after a mad tangle of bodies in the box, was one of the scrappiest of his international career but the New York Red Bulls attacker said he was “not bothered”.

The green and gold veteran linked impressively with Massimo Luongo throughout the match and believes the friendly with Saudi Arabia was a great learning curve for some of his young teammates.

“I’m not bothered mate,” he said of the goal. “It hit the back of the net, just like the rest of them.

Cahill said there was plenty of analysis following the Belgium loss.

“We knew that if we tidied things up it would have been a better game for us,” he said.

“But, overall, the training’s been great. The philosophy of the way we want to play and what we want to believe in and all the new young players coming in, it’s all about us breeding confidence for each other.

“You saw Tommy Oar play tonight fantastically.

“It’s not just about who scores it’s about how we create opportunities for each other and help each other.

“And that’s the one thing I spent this week a lot of time with the youngsters talking about when you make mistakes – it happens.

“We gave away two goals, we can do that now. We can’t do it later in the Asian Cup.

“So the boys need to really believe in themselves and in their football. That’s the intent and that’s when you have to be ruthless with these Asian teams because you see in the second half when you make changes, and things happen and you want to try things, but you concede goals.

“But, that’s what it’s there for, for us to understand that if you take your foot off the pedal like the way we played against Belgium, you’ll get punished.”

Cahill said he always wants to win but now the Socceroos also want to play good football.

“We don’t want to win and be lucky,” he added. “That’s the great philosophy of the manager.

“We want to play football, we want to know why we conceded the goals and why we scored the goals and everything that we worked for in training.

“I’m really positive, whether I play or don’t play, I think this group of kids and the players around the group are just really, really promising.

“And that’s what I can see. I can see the future, not now but what’s to come.”