ROY Keane has called for talks between Ireland manager Martin O’Neill and Everton boss Roberto Martinez to discuss the international futures of James McCarthy and Seamus Coleman.
McCarthy has not featured in Ireland’s last three Euro 2016 qualifiers and Coleman missed the fixture in Germany last month, but the pair played for Everton four days after the game in Gelsenkirchen.
Keane believes that a meeting is necessary to end speculation over the Toffees duo, and to gain clarity regarding their availability for future Euro qualifying matches.
"If it carries on for the next year or two, it would put a lot of pressure on James and that's unfair on the player," said Ireland’s assistant manager Keane.
"It is a difficult one. And it's a big downside of international football. When a player turns up and they're not sure if theyre' going to be fit, you have to try and be fair to the club and you obviously have to be fair to the player.
"But you're working for your country and you want to get the right result. So, it's a difficult one for James as well."
McCarthy had joined his international teammates ahead of Friday's Euro qualifying defeat to Scotland in Celtic Park, but he returned to his club a day before game.
"I worry that he [McCarthy] is under lots of pressure, particularly from Everton's point of view," Keane continued.
"You always get the impression from Everton that Seamus and James are both barely able to walk, that type of thing.
"So when they actually turn up and they are walking through the reception, [you think] 'Praise the Lord, it's a miracle'."
Keane expressed further concerns, after McCarthy and Coleman missed the 1-1 draw against Germany in October but returned to club action only four days later.
"There has to be, I think, some sort of sit-down conversation."
"Roberto Martinez has to look after his club and he is probably thinking they have European games.
"Roberto, I don't think, has ever played senior level at international level and maybe he doesn't appreciate how big it is for us and how big the games are for us.
"You could argue all day but I think it's about getting the balance right when the qualifiers come around."
He added: "But, also, sometimes it may be up to the plyaer to say, 'Listen, I'm going to try and train, whatever my club manager says or whatever the doctor says or whatever the scan says'. Because you do know your own body."