Stoke City manager Michael O'Neill has criticised the Irish setup after James McClean's season was cut short.
Following recent international duty, 31-year-old McClean suffered a recurrence of his heel injury that forced him to sit out seven games already this season.
He came off the bench for his club in last Monday’s 2-1 defeat to Millwall but it has now been confirmed that he'll miss this weekend's game against Birmingham City and may not play again this season.
McClean featured in all three games in the recent window and played 83 minutes of the friendly with Qatar where his early goal helped Ireland to a 1-1 draw.
🤕 The boss has confirmed James McClean will miss tomorrow's trip to @BCFC.#SCFC 🔴⚪️
— Stoke City FC (@stokecity) April 9, 2021
Speaking about the situation, O'Neill was clearly frustrated and took a direct swipe at Stephen Kenny's Republic of Ireland set-up.
“James' heel injury is still giving him a problem. He hasn't been able to train since his brief cameo appearance for us on Monday and I'm disappointed with that.
"Clearly, we didn't want him to go away on international duty and firmly believe that has hindered his recovery and we're basically now back to square one in terms of where James is that with injury.
"It's something that unfortunately we weren't able to stop and we're very disappointed how he was handled whilst he was away on international duty.
"I don't envisage that James will be available to play again for us this season."