HAT-TRICK hero Tim Cahill is refusing to set himself any goal targets for the season despite his match-winning strikes against Norwich City.
The Australian struck his first club treble at Carrow Road on Saturday to help Everton gun down Paul Lambert’s men 4-2 in an entertaining friendly but was quick to cool talk of having his name at the top of the goal-scoring charts next term.
Instead, the 30-year-old was keen to highlight the strength of the Goodison Park squad ahead of the new Premier League season when David Moyes’ men kick-off against Blackburn Rovers on August 14.
Cahill says Everton’s summer preparations have been flawless and is keeping his fingers crossed the side can avoid the injury curse which severely hampered the early part of their 2009/10 campaign.
Cahill said: “It’s always good to score and for me it is important to play as well as I can, especially after a break.
“I’ve got some minutes under my belt and am now making sure I’m as fit as possible for the start of the season.
“I think everything right from the start of pre-season, from the tour to Australia to the training regime we’ve had has been first class.
“A lot of the lads are looking and feeling fresh and sharp and the most important thing now is we all stay fit and make sure we take this form into the start of the season.
“We’ve got a great squad and a great team and we are building something special here.
“The most important thing is that we all stay fit and I make sure I’m ready to start on the pitch and things like this can happen more often.
“It’s important for every player to put everything into pre-season because you start as you mean to go on.
“We’ve seen Jermaine Beckford get a couple of goals last week and he’s looking sharp and it’s been good to build relationships with the new players.
“For me, it’s all about playing for the team and I’m very happy with the squad and what we’ve got.”
Cahill also wanted to offer his support to former Everton keeper John Ruddy who was guilty of the error which gifted the Australian his first goal on Saturday.
A weak effort was allowed to squirm underneath the body of the man who swapped Goodison Park for Carrow Road this summer but Cahill believes Ruddy will emerge a stronger character from the mistake and prove himself a fine player.
“It was just one of them things, a lot of our players know how good Ruddy is so what happened this afternoon was just unfortunate,” said Cahill on the first goal.
“He’ll pick himself up and what happens in pre-season doesn’t really matter.
“He’ll do well for Norwich, he’s a great goalkeeper and the good thing is that he’s moved on to play football.
“He’s a good shot stopper and has all the attributes to go on and be a top class goalkeeper.”
On the hat-trick strike, he said: “Ruddy is a big guy and the ball came over real quick which meant there was not much space to play the ball. So I just dinked it over him and finished with my left foot.”