CAHILL: WE DESERVE IT
Everton midfielder Tim Cahill summed up Everton's Champions League qualification achievement by simply stating - 'all the lads here deserve it'.
The Blues qualified for Europe's top competition on Sunday afternoon after Arsenal's victory over rivals Liverpool mathematically ensured a fourth place finish.
Cahill has been pivotal in Everton's Champions League chase emerging as the lynchpin of David Moyes' midfield as well as finding the back of the net on more occasions than any of his team-mates.
The Australian international told evertonfc.com: "We have been fourth since September and it is what we deserve. Some people forget that. It is not just about today it is about everything this season.
"It is satisfying because it means so much. Every time we have been asked to make a step up we have, regardless of the criticism we have had from other managers, players and football clubs. We don't care what others say it is all about us."
Cahill, who scored the second goal in Everton's 2-0 win over Newcastleon Saturday, is just about to end his first season in the top-flight following his move from Millwall and admits that what he has achieved with Everton in a short space of time has surpassed all expectations.
"The only thing I imagined when I arrived here was that I would be given a chance and I think I have taken it," he added.
"Millwall is a massive club but I made the step up despite missing the chance on European football but I have managed to get one step further with Everton and that is where you want to be.
"To be where we are is absolutely amazing especially when you consider where Everton were last season.
"First and foremost I want to be part of Everton Football Club and now I want to do well in Europe. The pinnacle for me was playing here in the Premiership but playing in Europe and the Champions League is a whole different story."
The 25-year-old has also wasted little time in paying a series of compliments to those who he believes have helped put Everton back on football's global map.
He said: "The fans reaction week in - week out has been fantastic. It just doesn't get any better than this. The best thing about these fans is as long as you work hard, even if you have a bad game, it means a lot to them and it means a lot to us from fans to understand football.
"I have said many times before that it is special just playing at a club like this who can, and have, achieved so much. We play to win and it is rare a manger gets a group of lads who will run through brick walls for him regardless of the situation.
"There are a lot of the boys who are out of contract and are playing for their futures and it is tense for them. But they have produced and everyone is now just looking forward to next season."