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Martinez hits back at Roy


"We have 18 players representing their country and we are proud of that.

"The only care I have is for the players. We have four incredible characters for the Republic of Ireland who love to play for country and it is disappointing when you see that kind of news in the media.

"All the fans in Ireland need to know these players would give their lives to play for the country and that they have been extreme professionals."

Relations between Everton and the FAI have been tense.

Even though the FAI were blameless, Martinez was annoyed when Darron Gibson picked up a season-ending knee injury while on World Cup qualifying duty for Ireland last year but with four Ireland players now on the books at Everton, due to Aiden McGeady's move to Goodison Park, the pressure is more intense.

McCarthy's availability for Ireland is an ongoing problem - the midfielder played in just two of Ireland's 12 senior internationals in 2014, though Martinez has again defended the club's stance on the player and insists that McCarthy is still struggling with injury.

"James McCarthy picked up a grade one hamstring problem in our game against Sunderland and we will see how he recovers. Gibson has not trained since he came back. His knee suffered against Scotland," added Martinez.