Jim Crawford insists he has to look at the bigger picture after Stephen Kenny was criticised for calling rising Republic of Ireland star Andy Moran into the senior squad at the under-21s’ expense.
Didi Hamann labelled Kenny’s decision as “inexcusable” as the Blackburn Rovers loanee sat on the bench for the dead-rubber loss to the Netherlands while Crawford’s under-21s lost a Euro qualifier to Norway the night before.
RTÉ pundit Hamann said the greater interest of Irish football lay in prioritising under-21 qualification to a first-ever European Championship.
“That's Didi's perspective on things,” said Crawford. “A player of Andy Moran's ability, he's always going to be there or thereabouts with the senior team.
“We knew that in the last window when he was called up for the senior team and unfortunately, he got injured.
“Straightaway, when we came into camp for this particular window, we knew that there was a lot of players awaiting scan results with the senior team.
“In one way, you're hoping that he stays but for the player himself, I broke the news to him, he was certainly overjoyed.
“To lose anybody of Andy's quality, any team would feel it but the bigger picture is it gives players at under-21s level an opportunity to show that they can play at this stage.
“It also gives Andy a chance to bed himself into the senior team and I've no doubt he'll play against New Zealand.
“I'm not picking the team, that's Stephen’s job, but I certainly think he'll gain his first international cap.
“He's been excellent but as soon as Andy was gone, as ruthless as it sounds, he's gone from us. We need to concentrate, we got Adam Murphy in, and we need to get our heads down.”
With Under-20 World Cup runners-up Italy up next at Turner’sRead on irishexaminer.com