Wales boss Rob Page questioned the way Nottingham Forest handled Brennan Johnson’s injury.
The 21-year-old suffered a groin injury in Forest’s loss at Tottenham earlier this month, before playing the full 90 minutes against Newcastle last week. There was hope that Johnson would link up with the Wales team yesterday (Thursday), ahead of their trip to Split on Friday.
Wales, who will face Croatia on Saturday, have been left without Johnson, who in the end has withdrawn from the squad due to injury. Page has expressed his disappointment after the result, saying: “First of all, I feel sorry for Brennan. He wants to play international football like everybody else.”
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“As we know, playing for your country is something very special, no one should take it for granted. Everyone who has a responsibility to Brennan should respect that and help him in any way they can.”
“We realized something last week and then he went and played 90 minutes on Friday and was not available to meet on Sunday. Like I said, everyone is responsible for him. It’s very special to be in that dressing room and playing for your country.
“You shouldn’t take that for granted. The people responsible for him shouldn’t take that for granted and should also appreciate and respect him.”
Page regretted not being able to get Johnson to show up at camp to assess his fitness, adding that the fact that Forest had a Welsh coach was insignificant to the outcome. “It’s not about him (Steve Cooper) being a Welsh manager, he could be English, Scottish, it doesn’t matter what nationality. He’s got a job to do, I’m thinking about the player.”
“We have to respect that it’s an incredible honor to play for your country. Where I should have been a little stronger is in bringing Brennan out the door on Sunday to assess him.”
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