WATCH: Ronald Koeman hopes Ireland "protect" James McCarthy

Everton midfielder working his way back to fitness after groin surgery

James McCarthy, Ireland

James McCarthy ©INPHO/Donall Farmer

Everton manager Ronald Koeman wants Ireland to "protect" James McCarthy while he is on international duty.

The Toffees midfielder is in the Ireland squad to face Georgia and Moldova in the World Cup qualifiers on October 6th and 9th respectively.

But he is working his way back to fitness after surgery on a groin problem sidelined him of late.

Speaking ahead of Everton's Premier League clash with Crystal Palace, Koeman believes fielding McCarthy in the qualifiers could be risky.

"The national teams are coming up and they call James up after six weeks without playing, and the FIFA rule you have to accept it," said the Dutchman. 

"I hope that they will protect the player.

"[They have to] realise that the player did not do team training in 5-6 weeks. But the same happened with Seamus Coleman after 4-5 weeks and it went well luckily. But it's always a risk to get an operation four or five weeks ago but we'll see what happens next week."