Reid - McCarthy needs a rest
Hamilton boss Billy Reid is thankful James McCarthy has been left out of the Ireland squad.
Last Updated: 11/11/08 9:33am
Hamilton Academical boss Billy Reid is thankful James McCarthy has been left out of the Republic of Ireland squad.
Teenage midfielder McCarthy was expected to be included in Giovanni Trapattoni's plans for next week's friendly against Poland.
Trapattoni suggested last month that he was ready to select McCarthy, but left the 17-year-old out of the 23-man squad he named on Monday.
However, McCarthy's club manager believes Trapattoni's decision will give the highly-rated youngster a chance to enjoy a rest.
"James will be disappointed he's not getting the chance to play for Ireland yet, but I'm pleased," said Reid in the Daily Record.
"I'm not saying he isn't ready to step up to that level. He is. He's a huge talent and his time will come.
"But I have to be selfish and think about what it means for him long-term. My biggest fear is burn-out and when that happens a player can be set right back.
"He's nearly 18 and is just about to play his 82nd first-team game. That's an incredible number of games for someone so young.
"International football is for established players. James is established at Hamilton, but in the overall picture he's still a baby.
"He has had to cope with the demands of playing three times a week in the SPL and that's a big enough ask without throwing full international football into the reckoning.
"I've been lucky with the Irish FA because every time I've felt James needed a break they've been accommodating with the Under 19 and Under 21 squads.
"But to go and ask them to go easy on him in full internationals is a different story. They wouldn't allow it and neither would James want it.
"It's very hard to preserve his talents. He was shattered after back-to-back games against Rangers so I put him on the bench for the Motherwell game.
"He came on and was the best player on the park. He's too good to leave out so I'm pleased he doesn't have added pressure of playing for Ireland."