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Thursday 16 August 2018

Dangerous game

Trap calls McCarthy commitment to Ireland into question

GIOVANNI Trapattoni has thrown James McCarthy's international future into doubt by questioning his commitment to the green jersey.

Speaking after McCarthy was withdrawn from the Ireland squad to play Wales in the Nations Cup opener tomorrow, Trapattoni placed a question mark over McCarthy's head.

"I was in club management for many years and in that time, I always told players to play for their national team. Irish players must be proud to play for Ireland," he claimed at the FAI International Awards last night.

Given the fact that McCarthy's decision to declare for Ireland made him a prime target for bigots in Scotland for three years before he moved to Wigan and that his family have since relocated to Derry, Trapattoni's comments are, to say the least, insensitive.

But Trapattoni's early reluctance to pick McCarthy has now been replaced with a pressing need to freshen up the Irish team and he has clearly lost patience with the softly, softly approach favoured by Roberto Martinez.

"I am disappointed he is not here. We asked him in the summer and his manager said 'Please excuse him but he is tired'. Twenty-one and tired . . . but that's okay. I have respect for my colleague (Martinez).

"After a month, he played 70 minutes in his first game and now it is a little bit too difficult.

"Maybe I will try to speak with his manager and maybe with him. Maybe he is tired, maybe he is injured," said Trap.

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