Moyes plays down Pienaar row
Toffees chief surprised by criticism
Last Updated: November 18, 2008 12:32pm
Pienaar: Struggling for fitness
Everton boss David Moyes has explained his decision to withdraw Steven Pienaar from the South Africa squad to face Cameroon this week.
Moyes came in for criticism from South Africa team manager Sipho Nkumane for pulling the player out of the squad at such late notice.
South Africa are scheduled to play Cameroon in a friendly this week but Pienaar will not feature in the game as he continues to be hampered by a knee injury.
Moyes is baffled as to why South Africa are upset by his refusal to allow Pienaar to link up with them with the Scot insisting the diminutive midfielder is still some way short of full fitness.
Explanation"Steven didn't start our game against Middlesbrough on Sunday because he wasn't fit enough to do so.
"We brought him on in the second half but it was clear that he wasn't comfortable and after the game it was a straightforward decision not to send him to join up with South Africa.
"We notified the South African FA immediately and we will monitor him this week.
"We couldn't have notified them any quicker and, if the coach had been at our match on Sunday, he'd have seen for himself that Steven was struggling."