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Martin O'Neill has responded to criticism from Everton manager Ronald Koeman on his treatment of James McCarthy over the international break.
The Dutchman accused the Republic of Ireland boss of overloading the 25-year-old who played all but ten minutes of the qualifiers against Georgia and Moldova after a six-week spell on the sidelines with a groin injury.
However, O’Neill has hit back and said that he was merely following the advice of the Irish medical team who he regards as among the best in the world.
"I have been involved in club and international management for a considerable time and I take exception to the remarks made," he said.
"I have the utmost regard for the Republic of Ireland medical team who are as good as any in Europe.
"James played in our home game against Georgia last Thursday, and came through the match with no ill effects. Accordingly, he started the game against Moldova last Sunday.
"Naturally, he tired in the second half and was substituted, but not through injury. I believe he trained with Everton today and is available for selection if required this coming weekend."
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