JAMES McCarthy will seek out Giovanni Trapattoni in advance of the squad being named for Ireland's August friendly against Croatia to clear the air on his absence from the recent internationals, writes RUAIDHRI O'CONNOR.
The Wigan midfielder has spoken out for the first time on the saga that dogged the opening days of the international window that saw the Italian and senior players speak out about the commitment of squad members who failed to report for duty.
McCarthy was not named by the Italian, but the manager made it clear that he wasn't happy with the youngster. But the Glasgow-born star said his "conscience is clear" over the issue.
"Injury was the only thing which kept me out," he said.
"I suffered a grade one ligament injury at Stoke in Wigan's final game of the season, my ankle was swollen and sore and the doctor was notified. I never turned my back on Ireland.
"I plan to let things settle over the summer and then I intend to contact Mr Trapattoni. I want to talk to him before the next Ireland squad is named because I want to put the issue to bed.
"I'm also sure I'll have a word with Robbie Keane and the rest of the lads and I'll tell them the facts."
And McCarthy was critical of the captain's decision to speak out on the issue. "I've nothing but respect for Robbie Keane, but in my opinion he spoke out before he was in possession of all of the facts," he said.
"He is a decent guy and a good captain. I'm sure he will listen to my side of the story. When he does I am confident he will form a different opinion. There was nothing sinister about it, no hidden agenda. When you're told not to play, you can't play. It's as simple as that."