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Ronald Koeman reads out statement blasting Martin O'Neill and James McCarthy in fresh verbal attack

By Kevin Palmer

Ronald Koeman has poured fresh fuel on his ongoing feud with Ireland manager Martin O’Neill and James McCarthy, after claiming his midfielder ‘needs to take responsibility’ for his actions after he tried to play in last week’s World Cup qualifier against Wales.

The Everton manager is fuming after McCarthy aggravated a hamstring injury in the warm-up for the game at the Aviva Stadium and he didn’t hold back as he addressed the issue in front of the media on Friday.

With Koeman expecting questions over the McCarthy issue at his weekly press conference, the Dutchman prepared a statement to read to the media that left little to the imagination as he expressed his anger at the situation.

“James had an injury when he reported with Ireland duty last week,” began Koeman.

“Our medical team made the Ireland medical team aware of this, of course.

“Everton’s medical team advised extreme caution not only due to the current injury, but also due to the previous injuries.

“Then James decided to play for his country, so when asked if he was fit to play, he said he felt was fit and he was selected to start the game by the Ireland manager, who in my opinion, in this instance, was not protecting the player.

“Clearly James was not fit to play. He had trained for only two days with Ireland and he broke down during the warm up.

“He has played only one game from the start in 2017. He did not play for three weeks before the Wales game.

“In my opinion, he would need at least one full week of training sessions to be declared fit and I have spoken to James. He needs to take responsibility of this. It is not the first time.”

Koeman would not divulge the details of his conversations with McCarthy and suggested it was up to his club to try and forge some kind of relationship with the FAI and O’Neill in a spat that has blown up again for the second time this season.

Everton and Ireland clashed over he use of McCarthy in World Cup qualifiers last September, with McCarthy and O’Neill clearly inflaming the tension with their actions in the build-up to the Wales game.

Belfast Telegraph Digital


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