The Ireland Under-21 boss is not impressed.
Ireland Under-21 manager Jim Crawford has criticised comments made by Galway United manager John Caulfield regarding his squad selection for the Montenegro game on Tuesday.
Due to a number of Covid-19 related travel issues from the UK government, Crawford was forced to select a solely home-based squad for Tuesday’s trip to Montenegro.
That decision infuriated Galway boss Caulfield, however. The Tribesmen’s First Division game against Bray Wanderers was called off as a result.
Caulfield spoke to RTE’s Saturday Sport last week after his side’s 1-0 win away to Cobh Ramblers, and claimed that League of Ireland players that were called up were being used as ‘guinea pigs’.
“It’s very disappointing because our players are being used for guinea pigs, our League of Ireland players are being used for guinea pigs for the Irish team.
U21 squad announced for qualifiers 🇮🇪
Jim Crawford names squad for Luxembourg with an extended squad for Montenegro
COVID-19 red list travel complications for UK/German based players have led to this
— FAIreland ⚽️🇮🇪 (@FAIreland) October 1, 2021
“It’s totally wrong and that’s why people need to show respect and decency and while people may think a second panel, think it’s great and we’ll just give the League of Ireland fella the call-up – call them for next Friday, play him next Friday, and then take him to Montenegro if that’s the case.”
Crawford bites back.
Ireland Under-21 boss Jim Crawford has hit back at those comments made by Caulfield, however, saying that they were unfair suggestions to make.
“They will come here and they will learn. And they will enjoy it. I’ve had phone calls from First Division and Premier managers who supported our decision and it was refreshing but we do need to promote our league…
“Comments like that… What did he compare them to? Guinea pigs. He said that which I just think was an unfair statement. And by the way, if he had a solution to this I would have sat down with him.
“But I think he came out with ‘why don’t we forfeit the game?’ If I had sat down with him in that particular situation I would have just walked away because that’s certainly not in our DNA.”