Martin O'Neill: Koeman is a "master tactician of the blame game" over McCarthy injury

James McCarthy pulled up before Ireland's game with Wales Friday

Martin O'Neill: Koeman is a "master tactician of the blame game" over McCarthy injury

Martin O'Neill with James McCarthy Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Donall Farmer

Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill has responded to Ronald Koeman's Friday statement over the treatment of James McCarthy, by the Irish national team.

McCarthy returned from injury during the international break. He was named in O'Neill's starting 11 last Friday to play Wales, but pulled up in the warm-up and was replaced by David Meyler.

Koeman stated that O'Neill "was not protecting" the midfielder, by playing in the match.

The Republic of Ireland manager, has said in his statement that Everton should look at their supervision of McCarthy. He even asked if the 26-year-old was overloaded by the team.

"Once again the Everton manager, master tactician of the blame game, has struck out in his comments today, criticising both myself and James McCarthy", O'Neill said.

"Perhaps a review of Everton's pre-season programme might provide some enlightenment."

"James had a magnificent tournament for the Republic of Ireland last summer during UEFA EURO 2016, playing his last game in very late June. He then returned to Everton after a very short break, but only 11 days later, he played his first of three games, all within an eight-day period, against Real Betis, Manchester United and Espanyol. Overloading?"

"It should be added that James last played for his country on the October 9, 2016 - almost half a year ago. Since that time he has been totally under Everton's supervision."

"James is diligent and conscientious in his professional preparation."

"Perhaps, in this instance, quiet introspection may serve the Everton manager and his medical staff better."

The battle between Koeman and O'Neill is going to roll on...