Wednesday 25 April 2018

'I don't care about Ronald Koeman' - Roy Keane hits out as war over James McCarthy continues

Ireland assistant manager Roy Keane speaking at Abbotstown Photo: David Maher/Sportsfile
Ireland assistant manager Roy Keane speaking at Abbotstown Photo: David Maher/Sportsfile
Paul Hyland

Paul Hyland

Roy Keane has no time at all for anything Ronald Koeman has to say and has recommended that Everton take a long, hard look at their fitness regime.

Explaining that on this occasion, James McCarthy was not fit enough to travel to Dublin in advance of Ireland's World Cup qualifier against Austria in Vienna on Saturday, Keane still took the opportunity to take a poke at Everton.

"Ronald Koeman's opinions? I don't care about Ronald Koeman.

"We're disappointed that James is not here, but we knew he was struggling. He missed the last few games for his club and missed some training so he wasn't fit to report.

"As is said, we're disappointed he didn't make it but we will survive."

Keane rejected outright any suggestion of "overloading" or "killing" players.

"We've never taken any unnecessary risks with players. We know players are under pressure from clubs, they are looking after themselves.

"Clubs are going to be selfish. We had a problem with Martinez, he was over the top," said Keane.

"I felt that every time Everton players turned up they were always carrying knocks, they were always on crutches or crawling in the door of the hotel."

"We'll have same problem with Koeman," said Keane.

"Everton, it's a while since they've won a trophy but if you're overloading players that's a good thing. It means you're playing a lot of games and having success.

"They're out of the League Cup, I think they were knocked out by Norwich. Maybe they need to toughen up a little bit.

Keane believes that Everton are showing a big net profit when it comes to the club's relationship with Ireland and that they should show a bit more respect for that.

"Seamus Coleman, what a player he's been for Everton. Why would they begrudge these players to Ireland?

"Darren Gibson misses a lot of matches and he gets injured a lot at Everton so maybe they need to look at their own training schedule."

Meanwhile, John O'Shea is winning his battle to be fit in time for Ireland's World Cup qualifier against Austria in Vienna.

But manager Martin O'Neill had to wave goodbye to Stephen Ward as well as McCarthy and is now struggling for cover in the full-back slots.

With Cyrus Christie ruled out for he next three months, Ward's withdrawal means that O'Neill has only one recognised full-back, Seamus Coleman, in his squad and will almost certainly have to start with Robbie Brady at left-full.

That means that Harry Arter is now a certain starter in midfield, a step-up which Roy Keane believes he can make easily.

"Harry has had a frustrating time at international level. But he's over here, he's fit and he's in a good run of form.

"He would be an option and I'm sure he will be chomping at the bit to get involved. He has the quality to deal with the game," said Keane.

James McClean sat out training after tweaking his back in the gym at the weekend and Eunan O'Kane also had a day off alongside Dundalk's Daryl Horgan and Andy Boyle, both sting after that FAI Cup defeat to Cork City on Sunday.

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