Cahill geared up for derby
Everton's Tim Cahill has described the Merseyside derby as a 'magical' occasion ahead of this weekend's clash with Liverpool.
Last Updated: 29/09/11 4:07pm
Everton midfielder Tim Cahill has described the Merseyside derby as a 'magical' occasion ahead of this weekend's clash with Liverpool at Goodison Park.
Although Cahill may be a fiercely-proud Australian, after more than seven years at Goodison Park he admits the local derby with the Reds is now "part of his life".
The 31-year-old is relishing the chance to feature in Saturday's lunch-time showdown if he recovers from injury in time.
"I think it is one of the biggest [matches] other than playing for your country in a World Cup. The derby is magical," he said.
"It is not only the day of the game, it is after, it is before, it is the grudges, the banter.
"For those 90 minutes the whole of Liverpool stops and you have countries around the world watching.
"Going into the game, whether you are injured or you have little problems whatever, it is forgotten.
"Everything is left on the pitch and for me, coming from Australia, I feel the same sort of attitude.
"I found it hard to get here, I have this opportunity so I just don't want to miss a second on the pitch - I want to try to affect it, hence why I've had so much joy in the derbies.
"For the fans and for me it means everything because it is part of my life now."
Cahill has scored five times in 13 previous derbies but his participation at Goodison Park on Saturday is still in doubt as he recovers from the shin injury inflicted by Manchester City defender Vincent Kompany's apparent stamp last weekend.
It would be a huge blow to Everton and the player if he were to miss out, especially as he knows what a win means for either half of the city.
"You walk around the changing room and the club and all the staff are so passionate - you have to be blue, you can't be red," he added.
"That is instilled into you as a player and you take that on to the pitch. But it is a really respectful rivalry; I respect their club a lot and obviously they do us as well.
"It is a compliment that when sometimes I get some banter from Liverpool fans it is only because I have scored against them."