Republic of Ireland manager Giovanni Trapatonni has hit back at claims that striker Shane Long was fit enough to play in the Boys in Green’s 0-0 draw with Serbia on Wednesday evening.
The West Brom striker was set to start for Ireland in Belgrade on the right side of the midfield in an altered formation but the Ireland boss opted to play Simon Cox instead after Long suffered a knock to his calf on the eve of the game.
Trapattoni insisted Long was left out as a precautionary measure, a decision which did not sit well with the player, who told the media after the game he was 'fully fit'.
The Irish squad returned to Dublin on Thursday afternoon and the 73-year-old tactician reacted furiously to the claims in his press conference.
“Shane Long said he had pain and the doctor was worried so he went to the hospital and had a scan. Now he says he’s fit. We would have played a system with Shane Long on the pitch, he would have been the choice,” Trapattoni said in a press conference."I was a player. (If) you have pain, and you make a training and then say 'I am fit', that is idiotic."
Ireland begin their 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign with a trip to Kazakhstan on September 7.