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Mac slams friendly timing

FORMER Ireland boss Mick McCarthy is unhappy with the timing of this week's international fixtures which will see seven of his Wolves players -- four are Ireland players -- miss the build-up to the start of the Premier League next weekend.

Stephen Ward, Kevin Doyle, Andy Keogh and Stephen Hunt are in the Irish squad for Wednesday's friendly with Croatia while Wayne Hennessey, Nenad Milijas and Christophe Berra are also on international duty as their club team-mates complete their preparations for the new season.

"It is ludicrous," McCarthy said. "I have empathy with the (international) managers. They have got big internationals coming up next month and they have got to practise as well.

"When you consider what's at stake in the Premier League, you want to get off to a good start. "If you have got a lot of players away on a Wednesday and you are playing a team that hasn't, it's a disadvantage."