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Dublin: 6 °C Saturday 15 December, 2018

McCarthy should put Everton before Ireland - Koeman

The midfielder has been included in Martin O’Neill’s squad for two crucial qualifiers, but his club boss wants him to go easy after injury.

Image: PA

RONALD KOEMAN HAS urged James McCarthy to put club before country after the midfielder was called up for Ireland’s World Cup qualifiers next week.

McCarthy has been out since July with a knee injury, but that has not stopped Ireland manager Martin O’Neill calling him up to the provisional 32-man squad for the games against Moldova and Wales.

Koeman and O’Neill were involved in a public spat last season when McCarthy aggravated a hamstring injury while on international duty in March.

And while the Everton manager understands McCarthy’s predicament, he has encouraged him not to put himself at risk of further injuries.

“What I expect from every Everton player is don’t take risks when it’s not necessary,” he said.

“When it’s the last game of the season, if it’s a play-off game for the season then everybody understands it’s difficult for the player as you are stuck in the middle between your country and your football club.

“But still we pay all the salaries to the players. What I expect from the player is always a good communication between them and our medical staff.

“If they call James for the Irish national team, then he needs to go because that is a FIFA rule.

“But his situation is that he can be part of the team for training this Friday, but his last game was in July. I think that answers the question.”

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