Thursday 23 November 2017

Soccer in brief: Martinez allays McCarthy fears

Everton's player James McCarthy, left, and coach Roberto Martinez attend a news conference in Bern, Switzerland, Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2015. FC Everton will face Young Boys Bern in a UEFA Europa League round of 32 soccer first leg soccer match on Thursday. (AP Photo/Keystone,Marcel Bieri)
Everton's player James McCarthy, left, and coach Roberto Martinez attend a news conference in Bern, Switzerland, Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2015. FC Everton will face Young Boys Bern in a UEFA Europa League round of 32 soccer first leg soccer match on Thursday. (AP Photo/Keystone,Marcel Bieri)

Roberto Martinez has allayed fears that James McCarthy aggravated his troublesome hamstring in Everton's Europa League win at Young Boys Berne on Thursday.

The Ireland midfielder left the pitch in the second half of a comfortable win for the Toffees and that set alarm bells ringing given his season-long difficulties.

But Martinez delivered a positive update ahead of Everton's Premier League clash with Leicester tomorrow.

"It was just a thought about the surface," explained the Spaniard, with a reference to the artificial pitch in Switzerland. "He's in great condition."

However, there was bad news for Ipswich manager Mick McCarthy yesterday as he looks set to be without the services of Noel Hunt for the remainder of their promotion charge.

The 32-year-old damaged a knee in last Saturday's victory at Fulham and scans delivered grim results for a player enjoying a new lease of life following a miserable stint at Leeds.

Stokes back for Bhoys after going AWOL

Anthony Stokes has been recalled to the Celtic squad for tomorrow's home match against Hamilton after being left out of Thursday's Europa League tie with Inter Milan for disciplinary reasons.

Stokes was forced to watch from the stands after taking an extended trip home to Dublin without permission.

"It was an internal thing and we dealt with it," said manager Ronny Deila. "It was a small thing but it was something."

Deila has slammed Steve McManaman after the former Liverpool player told the TV audience watching Celtic's 3-3 draw with Inter that the Hoops players should not have taken a lap of honour.

"Steve McManaman was a big player - he was one of my favourites - but for me this is so stupid to say.

"For me, McManaman saying this is like an 'expert' having to say something to get some headlines," he said.

"Sometimes when you lose you have to say congratulations to your opponent and also when you don't get the result you want and the fans are unbelievable you have to thank them."

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