Belfast Telegraph

Stuart Dallas not ready for Northern Ireland action, insists Leeds boss Monk

By Graham Luney

Leeds United boss Garry Monk hopes "common sense will prevail" when Stuart Dallas meets up with the Northern Ireland squad - having been called up following a four-week lay off.

The winger has missed United's last five games with a calf strain but has been named in the squad for the World Cup qualifier against Azerbaijan next Friday and friendly against Croatia on November 15. Monk is concerned that Dallas will aggravate his injury if he plays in either fixture.

Northern Ireland medics will assess the former Crusaders winger before deciding if he is ready for game time, but Monk doesn't want any risks taken with his star man.

"I think they meet up on Sunday and then whether they physically assess him we don't know that until obviously Monday or Tuesday, but we are very open and it's been four weeks and Stuart has not even touched a football," said Monk.

"From a medical point of view, from a physical point of view, from any point of view, it makes no sense and it puts the player at a high risk if you play the minutes. But with the international team you don't tell them what to do, they work the way they work and they have their prerogative, but common sense I'm sure will prevail. It's impossible for a player to go four weeks without even kicking a football to then go into an international game with a high level.

"It's a very high risk and I'm sure Northern Ireland don't want to risk that and we don't Stuart to be risked like that."

Monk added: "He's not back in training so it will be four weeks and he is due to start training on Monday. But of course the international call up is their prerogative and their right to have an assessment of the player."

Northern Ireland boss Michael O'Neill said: "Stuart hasn't played due to injury, there is a question mark but we've named him. We'll see how he is. What happens this weekend will be a big factor."

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph