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Everton raise fitness doubts over James McCarthy


James McCarthy is sticking with the Toffees

James McCarthy is sticking with the Toffees

James McCarthy is sticking with the Toffees

EVERTON have raised a fitness doubt over James McCarthy by insisting he go for a scan on his knee but Martin O'Neill is satisfied that he will be fit for both Gibraltar and Georgia.

McCarthy trained fully yesterday and O'Neill's greater worry is Jeff Kendrick who went over on his ankle.

"Jeff Hendrick went over on his ankle. We'll have to see how it is and I think precautionary, James McCarthy has gone for a scan," said O'Neill.

"Everton wanted him scanned anyway. He's not feeling too bad. Hopefully that's just precautionary. I think it was his knee they're slightly concerned about," added the Ireland boss.

Given the previously strained relationship between Roberto Martinez and the FAI over McCarthy and indeed Seamus Coleman, O'Neill is anxious to make sure that all reasonable requests from clubs are met.

"I was speaking to Alan (Byrne) and more importantly the player and the player's not too concerned so that's OK. I think it's something Everton wanted to do so, fine, we'll fall into line and go with it," he said.

"I can't envisage a problem at the moment. If it is, it might not be anything to do with the scan. Obviously your concern would be training, like something that happened with Jeff Ktoday. I think Jeff hopes he will be OK himself but those would be the things that concern me in the next couple of days of training."

O'Neill believes that previous worries about Everton's management of Irish players during international breaks have been put to one side.

"No, we're fine, absolutely fine now, no problem. I think this is something they wanted to do and Alan our doctor is just falling in line with it ."

O'Neill may well be happy to accept Everton's insistence that McCarthy enjoys an enhanced level of care but he clearly expects the player to travel to Faro.

"Overall the message is pretty clear, James is happy with it. He did a little, he didn't do much on the first day but he did a little bit and today he trained but he's going there anyway and he's feeling fine."

injury update