Martin O'Neill swats away Ronald Koeman misgivings over James McCarthy

His use on Ireland duty has not been to the Everton manager's liking

Martin O'Neill

Image: ©INPHO/Gary Carr 

Ireland manager Martin O'Neill has swatted away Everton manager Ronald Koeman's misgivings regarding how James McCarthy has been used while on international duty. 

The midfielder has been included in the squad for the 2018 World Cup qualifier against Austria despite lingering concerns over his match fitness.

Despite not playing for Everton since August because of a groin injury, McCarthy started against Georgia and Moldova last month, which led his club manager, Ronald Koeman to say he was "massively overloaded" by the Irish management.

At the time, Koeman said: [With] James McCarthy, it's a little bit more difficult because he was, of course, after 5-6 weeks out of football after his surgery, I know he played the full game after three group sessions with Ireland and then he played the second game and is massively over-loaded and we have to make a decision tomorrow if he's really fit to be part of the team".

Since his return from that qualifying double-header, the midfielder has picked up another hamstring injury but O'Neill has fired-back at Koeman's criticism of his management of the player's fitness.

"James had declared himself fit. He played the first game. He didn't come through injury. He came off through tiredness. And remarkably he actually trained at Everton on the very day that the manager was bleating about it," said O'Neill.  

McCarthy has made three Premier League appearances this season, with the most recent one coming in the 1-1 draw with Manchester City when he featured for 33 minutes.