Tim Cahill situation 'very clear', says Socceroos coach Bert van Marwijk

The Socceroos coach has sought to clarify the veteran striker's role

He's set for an incredible fourth straight World Cup and would join the likes of Pele should he strike yet again in the tournament, but Socceroos great Tim Cahill is set for a much reduced role in Russia.

The 38-year-old has wracked up just 157 minutes of club minutes over the past season with Melbourne City and Millwall respectively.

Though playing a key role in Australia's extra time play-off win against Syria, Cahill has been a peripheral figure under new coach Bert van Marwijk to date.

Not used at all in a recent 4-0 win over Czech Republic, the green and gold striker got 27 minutes of action against Colombia in March as the Socceroos start preparing for life without their main man.

With starting striker Tomi Juric under an injury cloud, van Marwijk has included Jamie Maclaren in his World Cup squad meaning the Dutchman now has four players to choose from for the number nine role.

As such, van Marwijk has sought to clarify Cahill's role in the squad, admitting a lack of game time has become an issue. 

"Everybody knows Tim's situation," van Marwijk said.

"I've spoken to him a few times. It's very clear the situation between us.

"Maybe I will let him play for a period (against Hungary). He needs it but he will not become a better player by one game.

"The problem was already in the last half-year."

Robbie Kruse Tim Cahill Socceroos 2018

Despite being set for a limited involvement in Russia, Cahill has developed a knack for popping up late in games with Craig Johnston recently calling him the best in football at producing in the dying minutes.

A trait van Marwijk is certainly aware of and hopeful of exploiting. 

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"When I need him he must be ready," he said.

"We've discussed that and he's ready for that. If it's thirty seconds or thirty minutes, when I need him he will be ready,"

The Socceroos play a final friendly against Hungary on June 10 before starting their World Cup campaign against France on June 16 with group games against Denmark and Peru to follow.