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​Koeman issues statement over Republic of Ireland treatment of Everton midfielder McCarthy

Everton boss Ronald Koeman has accused Republic of Ireland counterpart Martin O'Neill of being lax in his dealings with James McCarthy as their row over the midfielder's fitness continues.

The 26 year old suffered a recurrence of a hamstring injury, ruling him out of Saturday's derby at Liverpool.

"James had an injury when he reported for Ireland duty last week and our medical team made the Ireland medical team aware of this.

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

"The assessment by the Ireland medical was that it would be a high risk for James to play against Wales.

"But of course James has a strong desire to play for his country so when asked if he was fit to play he said he felt he was fit. And he was selected to start the game but withdrawn.

"In my opinion, in this instance it was not protecting the player. James was clearly not fit to play. He only trained for two days with Ireland and broke down in the warm-up.

"He has only played only one game from the start in 2017 and 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.

"I spoke to James; he needs to take responsibility for this. But this is not the first time."

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Ian Ferris
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Ian Ferris

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