Sport Soccer

Saturday 18 November 2017

Pulis blasts Irish over duo's treatment

Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

TONY PULIS has lashed out at Giovanni Trapattoni for making Jonathan Walters and Marc Wilson report to Dublin with injuries when Stoke's medical staff had already deemed them unfit for tonight's friendly with Croatia.

After the chaos over player pull-outs in May, Trapattoni wants those with problems to come and be assessed by the FAI's doctors before they are definitively ruled out.

Walters and Wilson came to Dublin on Sunday, and were given permission to go back to Stoke on Monday when it was apparent they could play no part in the Aviva Stadium encounter.

The Potters pair were at the centre of controversy in May, with Pulis admitting he would have to investigate Wilson's whereabouts after he failed to show for the Carling Nations meeting with Northern Ireland.

Trapattoni was initially unhappy with Walters, but a communication error was blamed for the lack of clarity regarding his legitimate reason for missing out -- a long-standing shoulder problem.

However, the roles are reversed this week, with Trapattoni delighted with the response from the squad to his new policy and Pulis far from impressed.

"Our medical people say flying over to Ireland and back, plus staying in a hotel for the night, won't have done them any good," said Pulis. "It makes it a longer and more difficult process for us to get players fit for Sunday.

"They are only friendly games and we are paying their wages. Our supporters want them to be fit for Sunday and the Irish supporters are not paying for them in a game that's a meaningless fixture.

"To take them away from their professional clubs a week before the season starts can't be right."

Club bosses are naturally unhappy about the scheduling of this international window.

However, Irish skipper Robbie Keane says that the fuss is nothing new, and that players are okay with the scheduling.

"It's been the case for how long?" he said. "Obviously club managers are worried their players will get injured, but it is preparation for us for the qualifiers in September.

"So it is important we do have these games. The players are not too worried about it, I think."

Irish Independent

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