SYDNEY, April 2 – Australian coach Pim Verbeek said Tim Cahill will return to his English club Everton from World Cup duty fitter than when he left them.
Australia has had a less than perfect relationship with Everton and their manager David Moyes in getting Cahill released to play for his country in the past, but Verbeek said Everton should be happy to get their star man back in good shape for this weekend’s Premier League round.
Verbeek had the luxury of not being forced to use his influential midfielder off the subs’ bench in Australia’s 2-0 victory over Uzbekistan here on Wednesday, when they went just one point away from next year’s World Cup.
Verbeek didn’t start the mercurial Cahill because of a calf muscle injury and left him out of the game as Australia sealed victory with goals by Josh Kennedy and Harry Kewell.
"I waited for the moment to bring on Timmy, but it wasn’t necessary, it’s better to keep him fresh for his club," Verbeek said after Wednesday’s game.
"We like to thank Everton for that because of the possibility of him coming to play for our team if necessary.
"I am pleased with my colleague (Moyes) this time."
He said he thought Cahill was now 100 percent fit. "If he can play 90 minutes then that’s up to my colleague (Moyes) at Everton.
"But we will send him back fit and I think they can be very grateful to our medical staff who did their job because when he arrived here he could hardly walk.
"This time they will be happy with us, normally they aren’t happy with us, but this time they will be."