Jewell Slams Midweek Internationals
Tuesday, 14th Aug 2012 06:00
Town manager Paul Jewell has hit out at the midweek international fixtures which have left his squad for tonight’s Capital One Cup tie against Bristol Rovers short of three players. Damien Delaney is with Ireland for their friendly in Serbia on Wednesday, Ronan Murray with the Irish U21s for their European Championships qualifier against Turkey in Sligo on Tuesday and Josh Carson has been promoted to the Northern Ireland full squad from the U21s for their friendly against Finland in Belfast, also on Wednesday.
Jewell said: “International friendlies in midweek is ridiculous. The one thing that everyone looked forward to was the big build-up [to the season]. It was always a free week, now we’ve got League Cup matches and in the last couple of years there have been internationals.
“I think it’s ridiculous. I think everyone involved in football from supporters to players to managers to coaches is thinking ‘Let’s have a free week, let’s have a right good build up so everyone gets excited that we’re playing Blackburn on the Saturday’.
“Now we’ve got a League Cup game tomorrow. We’ve got three players on international duty who won’t get back until Thursday. Becomes a bit of a nonsense in my view.”
He says Town had no choice but to let two of them go, although Delaney might have stayed behind: “We could have said no to Damo because he wasn’t on standby but I wasn’t aware of that until this morning. But the player’s in Ireland, there’s no calling the player back now.
“As for the other two, [Northern Ireland manager] Michael O’Neill called me and said that Josh had been called up to the full squad. Josh came and saw me and said he doesn’t want to harm his place [here], but we have no comebacks from that.
“I think with these friendly games, if the federations paid their wages if they got injured, we’d see a lot fewer friendlies.”
Photo: Action Images
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