Millwall's Meredith: 'Cahill still a great player'

JAMES Meredith admitted he was “really excited” with the prospect of linking up with Tim Cahill again.

Meredith and Cahill played together for Australia, and both are aiming to secure a place in the Socceroos squad for this summer’s World Cup in Russia.

Cahill also advised Meredith to move to Millwall, when the former Bradford full-back was mulling over offers at the end of last season.

Meredith believes the signing of Cahill has boosted the competitive environment at the club.

“I was really excited. I had a feeling beforehand because I had spoken to him, though he hadn’t really given a whole lot away,” Meredith said.

“I thought it would be a really good move for him because he’s loved here and he knows the manager really well. He’s still a great player.

“I’ve played with the Socceroos with him and we’ve always got on really well, we’ve kept in touch.

“Before I came here I had a few options and I spoke to him about the prospect of going to Millwall. He said, ‘Do it, it’s a great club’. He had a great time here before.

“He had other good options as well, other good Championship options. But he said there was no other place for him except for here and he wanted to come.

“It could suit him as well coming up to the World Cup to get some games. It’s a good standard here.

“He’s been great, he’s an Australian legend and he’s a fantastic guy. Him along with the other signings have given everyone a lift. People are now competing for places and you have to be looking over your shoulder a bit.

“The whole morale of the club is generally up, it’s really good.”

Meredith won his only two caps for his country in November 2015, but believes it’s a “clean slate” with the recent appointment of Bert van Marwijk.

“I’ve not heard anything but I’m just going to work hard and play as well as I can,” he said. “Hopefully I will get an opportunity under the new manager. I’ve heard a lot of good things about him. It’ll be interesting.

“On paper I definitely deserve the chance to be in the squad, if you compare me to where the other left-backs are. With a new manager it’s a bit of a clean slate for everyone. I want to try to force my way in.

“There’s a friendly at Craven Cottage (on March 27, against Colombia) so hopefully I will be involved. The prospect of playing for the side is something that excites me and something that I want to achieve.”

After seeing off the challenge of Tony Craig for a first-team spot, Meredith is set to be challenged for his place by Harry Toffolo, who arrived from Norwich last month.

Craig joined Bristol Rovers in January, likely bringing an end his playing associating with Millwall.

He said: “I thought he should have stayed, he is a club legend and everyone loves him. He got on so well and had such a great history here.

“He was so well regarded, everyone looked up to him and he’s a true professional. Everyone has the utmost respect for him.

“Harrys’ a good player, I’d heard of him before from when he was on loan at Scunthorpe. Competition is good between players.

“I’ve been competing for my left-back spot for ten years so it’s nothing new to me.”

Image: Millwall FC

John Kelly