Sunday 30 April 2017

WATCH - Ronald Koeman not happy with Ireland manager Martin O'Neill for 'overloading' James McCarthy Newsdesk Newsdesk

Everton boss Ronald Koeman has accused the Republic of Ireland management of 'overloading' James McCarthy over the international break.

Despite coming off a six-week break after a minor groin procedure, the Glasgow-born midfielder played the full 90 minutes in the 1-0 win over Georgia at the Aviva and was substituted late on in the 3-1 victory over Moldova in Chisinau last Sunday.

Koeman pleaded with Martin O'Neill to 'protect' McCarthy in a press conference before the international break and is not pleased with the amount of football McCarthy played over the past fortnight.

After reporting positive fitness updates for several players, including striker Romelu Lukaku and Ireland midfielder Darron Gibson, Koeman admitted McCarthy may not be risked against the league leaders.

"James McCarthy is a little more difficult, because after five or six weeks out of football after his surgery, he played the full game after three group sessions with Ireland," Koeman said.

"He played the second game, and he's been massively overloaded.

"We have to make a decision tomorrow if he's really fit to be part of the team."

When asked last week about Koeman's concerns, O'Neill said: 'I've never played anyone here who has not been properly fit.'

Koeman was unimpressed with how Shane Long was used in a similar scenario last season when he was Southampton manager.

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