Martin O’Neill has hit back at Ronald Koeman after the Everton boss said yesterday that Ireland had “overloaded” McCarthy during the international break.
Everton face Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City this weekend, and McCarthy is a major doubt ahead of the game. After warning O’Neill to “protect” the 25 year old before the international break, Koeman had a dig at the Irish manager in his press conference.
“When James came back from Ireland, the message from Everton’s medical staff was that he was massively overloaded,” said Koeman.
“It’s ridiculous that he has surgery, five to six weeks out, three training sessions, plays 90 minutes and then, after three days, he plays another 80 minutes.
“Play him for 45 minutes, 60 minutes, but not 95 minutes after five to six weeks out. The second time, 80 minutes! You are killing the player.”
However, the Irish boss has taken issue with Koeman’s comments, and made his stance on the situation clear today.
“I have been involved in club and international management for a considerable time and I take exception to the remarks made,” he told the Mail.
“I have the utmost regard for the Republic of Ireland medical team who are as good as any in Europe.
“I believe he trained with Everton today and is available for selection if required this coming weekend.”
McCarthy has only made two appearances for Everton so far this season, as he’s been recovering from groin surgery.