Cahill embraces bench life for Socceroos
Tim Cahill not only accepts playing off the bench for the Socceroos, he sees it as inevitable.
The first player to score for Australia at a World Cup and Asian Cup is no longer one of the first pencilled in for the national team.
But the Everton player said he was content to be part of a squad rotation before Friday's World Cup qualifier against Oman in Muscat, starting at 5pm (11pm AEST).
The 32-year-old's influence at club level has declined in the past 12 months and he said expecting to play big minutes in Australia's three matches spread out over 10 days this month wasn't realistic.
"The thing is if you want to play all three games, you are going to burn out," he said.
"The main thing is that football is evolving and it is all about squads and conditioning.
"I think in Australia, if they don't see a player, they think that he has been dropped or has been poor.
"I think that is just poor media skills sometimes."
Cahill, who is with the Australian team for the first time in nine months, has only played 90 minutes in two of his past 12 matches for club and country.
He came off the bench for Harry Kewell in the 69th minute of Saturday's 2-0 friendly loss to Denmark in Copenhagen with Alex Brosque the other player selected up front.
It is possible to read too much into the selections as Kewell desperately needed a run after more than two months without a match.
However, with Josh Kennedy ready to go in Muscat, Cahill's chances of starting against world No.92 Oman have been slashed.
The turning point for Cahill appeared to come last year when he came off the bench in the dying minutes in Australia's 3-1 win in Saudi Arabia - five days after starting against Thailand in Brisbane.
Not that he was fussed about life on the bench.
"I am definitely not bothered that I am being part of a rotation," he said.
If not in Oman this Friday, opportunities are likely to open up for him in Australia's clash against Japan in Brisbane on Tuesday.
Cahill warned his teammates to be on their guard against Oman this week after Australia slipped to a shock 1-0 loss in Muscat last November.
Amad Al Hosni struck in the 18th minute of that clash and the home team managed to hold out the Socceroos.
"In these (hot) conditions, if you concede a goal early, the game can be pretty much wrapped up because of tired legs," he said.
"Especially in Asia, that seems to be the way the game goes in these conditions."
Friday's clash is Australia's opening match in the final stage of qualification for the 2014 World Cup.
The top two teams from each group earn direct qualification to the sport's showpiece in Brazil.