Sport Soccer

Saturday 25 January 2020

Boss sticks to guns over 'injured' Reid

Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

GIOVANNI TRAPATTONI has reiterated concerns about the well-being of Steven Reid after the Blackburn midfielder missed out on the squad for next week's friendly with Brazil.

The Ireland manager was attacked by Rovers boss Sam Allardyce in October when he suggested that Reid would find it difficult to recover from persistent knee problems, and the player himself was bemused after deeming his cruciate ligament operation a success.

However, he is still struggling to play regularly for Blackburn, and a loan visit to QPR was marred by a hamstring problem. While Reid has made seven appearances in 2010, he has largely been confined to the bench in recent weeks and made his last appearance as an 89th-minute substitute in the Premier League win over Hull on February 10.

Trapattoni said that he could not consider the player at his juncture and, in a thinly veiled dig at Allardyce -- who he neglected to mention by name because he said his name is difficult to pronounce -- he queried why Reid is not a regular if he was in perfect health, as Allardyce claimed in October when he said the Italian should apologise to the club's medical staff.

"He's on the bench or he plays 10 minutes," said Trapattoni. "When we discussed this situation last (in October) he had only played in the League Cup. I said, it was injury. What's his manager? It's difficult for me to say his name. I say, why he not play for Blackburn now? It's not like he has played a few games, like (Liam) Lawrence, like (Keith) Andrews. I cannot call up a player who is injured.

"It's important for us but he's on the bench. He doesn't play. I cannot call the players up who are injured or not playing. I'm sorry for him that he's injured because he was very important when he played for us. He has a good personality and he plays very well but the problem is his knee."

While Trapattoni would like to call on Reid in the future, it seems another individual plagued by injury in recent times, Steve Finnan, may have played his last game for Ireland.

Finnan came out of international retirement after a plea from Trapattoni and started the World Cup campaign as first choice but persistent problems in a disastrous spell at Espanyol pushed him out of the picture. He's now back in action at Portsmouth, yet in explaining the ex-Liverpool man's absence from the squad for the Brazil encounter, Trap said that it would be "dangerous" to have too many older members in his panel, especially if Ireland qualified for a major finals.

"We need the new energy. We have (Kevin) Foley in this position as well, and (Stephen) Kelly can as well. (Stephen) Carr is good also but he say he doesn't come back and he is 33 years old. I say this before France and Italy -- if our team goes to South Africa, when we play every three days, this is very dangerous because after 10 days, and three games, the senior players are tired.

"That's my experience. I have seen this before. We need the new energy, the new possibilities, for the new situations."

Irish Independent

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