Wednesday 21 February 2018

Koeman adds fuel to Ireland spat

Everton manager Ronald Koeman. Photo: PA
Everton manager Ronald Koeman. Photo: PA
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Everton manager Ronald Koeman has offered up another feisty comment in the direction of the Ireland management duo of Martin O'Neill and Roy Keane, as the enduring animosity between the two camps over midfielder James McCarthy continues.

Koeman and O'Neill were embroiled in two high-profile spats last season as Ireland used McCarthy despite doubts over his fitness and he remained in the Irish squad throughout the latest international break despite not playing for Everton this season due to injury.

Ireland assistant manager Roy Keane offered up predictably inflammatory comments during the international break that were not welcomed by Everton, as he suggested once again that McCarthy's conditioning was not being helped by the Goodison Park medical staff.

"James seems to be getting a lot of injuries at Everton, so I don't think we've anything to worry about in terms of how much we push James," said Keane.

"To be fair, the medical staff are overseeing all of it and they're in contact with Everton and all their scientists. I think they've more scientists involved now than there needs to be."

Koeman responded with dismissive remarks of his own, as he confirmed McCarthy is not fit to play in his side's game at Brighton this weekend despite not being used by Ireland for their World Cup qualifiers against Moldova and Wales.

"I don't know what Keane said about the situation," stated Koeman.

"The player had several problems physically and we tried to solve that problem. He's now back. For the first time they did a good thing not to use the player in the state of fitness that he is."

Irish Independent

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