TIM CAHILL is relishing the challenge for his place presented by the development of Jack Rodwell at Everton.
The clamour for 19-year-old Rodwell to be selected more regularly at Goodison is growing, with the teenager making his first Premier League start of the season at Villa Park last weekend.
And Cahill’s place seems the most under threat with David Moyes warning: “I see Jack, in a way, pushing Tim Cahill at the moment.”
But the 30-year-old Cahill seems unconcerned. “I have been with the manager a long time,” he said.
“Whether it is tongue in cheek or whether it is true, I am not bothered because I am a professional and I have been around the block a few times.
“It is just something that comes with the territory.”
Cahill is currently on international duty with Australia – they play in Poland tonight – and after playing largely up front on his own during a frustrating World Cup tournament under Pim Verbeek, Cahill says the Socceroos are embracing new coach Holger Osieck’s more attack-minded game plan.
Osieck showed his hand in his opening game in charge by playing Cahill and Scott McDonald up front together.
Ironically the match against Switzerland in St Gallen ended 0-0, but Cahill admitted to enjoying the extra company up front.
“I enjoyed it, to be honest to you,” he said.
“I think for us to know that we can drive forward to know that and really try to penetrate teams.
“You saw a lot of switching of play and we tried to be very direct.
“Sure sometimes we made mistakes but overall I think everyone can be really happy.”
Cahill is hoping the new attacking policy can help him add to his own impressive international tally - he has a strike rate of 21 goals from 43 internationals.
Former Everton striker Francis Jeffers, meanwhile, is back at Finch Farm – but don’t expect to see him in a Blues squad again any time soon.
Jeffers, who played for an Everton XI in Jamie Carragher’s testimonial at Anfield on Saturday, has been told by David Moyes he can train with the Blues while he is in between clubs.
Jeffers, 29, was released by Sheffield Wednesday at the end of last season.