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Allardyce relieved to get international duo back safely
9:50am Friday 19th October 2012 in Saints News
A relieved Sam Allardyce has Mohamed Diame and Guy Demel back safely from international duty for the clash with Saints, after the pair escaped unscathed from the riots that forced last weekend’s Senegal v Ivory Coast match to be abandoned.
Dynamic Senegal midfielder Diame had to be shielded by police as he fled to the dressing room late in the second half when crowd violence in the stadium erupted onto the pitch during the Africa Cup of Nations qualifier.
His clubmate, Demel, who is a doubt for tomorrow’s game with a thigh problem, was an unused substitute for Ivory Coast.
“We had two very important players away in that horrific situation,” said Allardyce. “They’ve come back ok.”
The West Ham manager also questioned the sense of centre half Winston Reid being called up by New Zealand for their internationals with Tahiti last week, despite suffering from a back problem.
Reid did little more than cheer on his teammates after making the 24-hour journey to join up with the squad. He remains a doubt for tomorrow.
“I don’t see any sense in calling them over and particularly that far, because they are injured,” said Allardyce.
“I also think there was an underlining factor that they didn’t trust him or us that he was injured.
“There’s another underlining factor that tells me that the players are brought there and then they’re put under enormous pressure to play, because of the loyalties to the country by the coaches and certain political elements which they have to resist.
“On one hand I’m all for international football but it doesn’t make any sense to take them because they can’t play. I don’t understand that at all.”