Duo set to defy bosses' wishes

Neill and Cahill refuse to let their country down

Neill and Cahill: Dedicated to the cause

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Lucas Neill and Tim Cahill are prepared to risk incurring the wrath of their clubs by continuing to play in Australia's World Cup qualifiers.

Both men featured in Wednesday's 3-0 win over Qatar as the Socceroos got their 2010 qualifying campaign off to the perfect start and have every intention of continuing to make the long haul to represent their country in the future.

Australia's next game is against China on 26th March, right in the middle of a busy period for the Premier League, but West Ham defender Neill insists that no amount of pressure from his club boss Alan Curbishley will prevent him from joining up with his country.


"People will say 'why would you want to go and play for Australia in the middle of two English Premier League games?' (I say) Because I'm playing for Australia and I want to go to the World Cup," Neill said.

"It's an honour, it's a privilege and I'm sure there are millions and millions of others who would want to be doing what we are doing. I'm not taking it for granted.

"If it was him (Curbishley) going to represent England he wouldn't have an argument and that's the only case we have to put forward to him."


Everton boss David Moyes claimed that Cahill was suffering with a slight hamstring problem before the Qatar game, but the midfielder has come out and denied those suggestions, and has made it clear that he would have joined up with Pim Verbeek's squad regardless of whether he had an injury or not.

"He (Verbeek) came to Everton to meet the manager, it wasn't one of the best meetings in the world, but I've got to keep them both happy and that's what I will do," Cahill said.

"I have to play well for Everton and I have to play well for Australia. Fifty thousand people came to see the boys play (Qatar) and they deserve that.

"Even before I got here I was reading things that I was injured and that I wasn't coming and wasn't going on the plane.

"But I was still going to get on the plane injured or not injured, just to be part of the squad, so we are just showing our commitment and it's great to have got three points."