MELBOURNE, October 15- Tim Cahill says he relishes the responsibility of scoring vital goals for Australia and is comfortable being the team's talisman.The Everton midfield dynamo was once again in the right spot at the right time to pounce and score the winner in Australia’s crucial home Asian Cup tie against Oman here on Wednesday.
The three points lifted the Socceroos from the bottom to the top of their qualifying group, ahead of a tricky away leg against Oman in Muscat on November 14.
Cahill’s 74th-minute winner was his 19th goal in 36 internationals, an incredible strike rate of better than one goal in every two games.
The 29-year-old also enhanced his standing as the Socceroos’ lucky charm. Each time he has scored in 13 internationals the Australian team has not lost since his debut in 2004.
Reflecting his importance, he was the first Australian to score at a World Cup finals with the first of his two goals against Japan in the opening group match of Germany 2006.
Cahill places great store in his remarkable scoring record as an attacking midfielder for his country.
"I am very proud of my record but the thing is that the record is there because I work hard," Cahill told AFP before he boarded an early morning flight Thursday back to England to rejoin Everton.
"I’ve been doing a lot of treatment this week with the team doctor and the physios and keeping myself very fit," he said.
"Nineteen goals in 36 games is something that I want to keep improving on.
"I want to be the person that they rely on, I want to be the person they turn to and people expect that.
"I always make sure that I’m in the right position and non-stop running and that’s what it needed against Oman, it needed that bit of grit and determination to put the ball into the back of the net.
"If you want to win games, you have to score goals and people expect that from me and I’m very happy that it was the winner and we got the three points.
Cahill said he was prepared to do the hard unrecognised work when it was required by his team.
"Against Holland (last Saturday) they said I was average, but the thing is we were compact and we didn’t lose to one of the best teams in the world and you have to take one for the team sometimes," he said.
"Away against Japan (last February), I had to take one for the team and just grind it out and chase balls down.
"But I think my main focal point is working hard and I’ll fly out at 3am and get back Thursday night and train Friday morning, ready to play against Wolves on Saturday.
"I’m looking forward to it and I can’t wait."
Cahill added that he takes great pride in his standing in the Australian team, now ranked 14 in the world and bound for their second consecutive World Cup in South Africa next year.
"You want to be in the limelight, you want to be commercially good, if you want to be a footballer, the face of Australia, then you have to put in the hard yards and this is part and parcel of it," he said.
"I’ll take every step I can to get better to stay at the top for however long it lasts."