Ronald Koeman says Martin O’Neill “overloaded” midfielder James McCarthy during the international break.
Before the international break, the Everton boss warned the Irish manager that McCarthy needed to be “protected”.
Martin O’Neill defended the 25 year old’s inclusion, claiming he never uses players who aren’t fit.
McCarthy then played 90 minutes in the 1-0 win over Georgia, and the majority of Ireland’s 3-1 victory in Moldova.
In today’s press conference ahead of Everton’s clash with Manchester City, Koeman provided positive fitness updates for several players, including striker Romelu Lukaku and Ireland midfielder Darron Gibson.
However, he said McCarthy may not be risked against the league leaders:
“James McCarthy is a little more difficult, because after five or six weeks out of football after his surgery, he played the full game after three group sessions with Ireland.
“He played the second game, and he’s been massively overloaded.
“We have to make a decision tomorrow if he’s really fit to be part of the team.”
McCarthy has featured just twice in the league under Ronald Koeman this season, as he’s been recovering from groin surgery.
The former Wigan midfielder faces a battle to reclaim his place in the team, with stalwart Gareth Barry and summer signing Idrissa Gueye now ahead of him in the pecking order.