IPSWICH manager Roy Keane has hit out at Ireland’s management for taking defender Darren O’Dea to Armenia last week when he should have been back at Portman Road for treatment on his knee injury.
The on-loan Celtic man picked up the knee problem in training on Tuesday of last week, but still made the trip to Armenia on the Thursday despite not even featuring on the bench as Giovanni Trapattoni’s side opened their Euro 2012 campaign with a 1-0 victory.
Keane says the 23-year-old is now touch-and-go for Ipswich’s Championship game at Portsmouth tomorrow.
“Darren has a 50/50 chance of being involved. Having travelled all the way over to Armenia, he was then told he wouldn’t have a chance of being involved because they didn’t feel he was 100% fit.
“I’ve no argument with that, at least they didn’t risk him. I’m not arguing with the decision, it was when the decision was taken. It should have been taken before they left Dublin airport.
“They could have flown him back here but they tried to give him another couple of days to try and get fit for Andorra when he was never going to play anyway because I can guarantee that Trapattoni was going to pick the same team, barring injuries.”
Keane was also unimpressed by the length of time it took the FAI to organise O’Dea’s eventual return.
“The FAI couldn’t get a flight, I’m surprised they didn’t send him home on the boat, and he didn’t get back here until Monday lunchtime.
“So, a player who got injured last week we end up getting back seven days later. He should have been back straight away.”
One of Ipswich’s other left-sided defenders, Shane O’Connor, suffered a torn hamstring while with the Irish U21s, leaving Keane short of left-backs with Mark Kennedy still sidelined, also by a hamstring problem.
Meanwhile, Keane, who has dismissed tabloid claims that he is already in talks regarding a contract extension beyond the end of the season, says he hopes to augment his high-flying squad with another loanee.
He said: “I think there’s a good chance we might add one player next week. We’re in discussions with a club and we’re hopeful, but we’ll see.
“Like a lot of Championship clubs, we’ll be looking at Premiership clubs, at players who might not be getting games and might fancy coming to the Championship, particularly the younger players.
“We were very lucky last year. We had some very good players, people like Jack Colback, who was outstanding for us, and you’re always on the lookout.”
Sunderland midfielder Colback could again be in Keane’s sights, while West Brom striker Luke Moore has also been linked.
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