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Europa League round of 16 draw

Europa League
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Reid call-up irks Allardyce

Sam Allardyce has questioned New Zealand's decision to call-up injured defender Winston Reid for their internationals against Tahiti.

• Blog: An olympian saga

Reid is sidelined with a back injury and remains a doubt for the Premier League fixture against Southampton this weekend, but made the 24-hour journey to New Zealand after being called by his country. And Allardyce pointed to a lack of trust on the Oceanic side's part, claiming they didn't believe he was injured.

"I don't see any sense in calling them over and particularly that far, because they are injured. I don't see any sense it in at all," he said. "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."

Two players who are available for selection against Southampton are Senegal's Mohamed Diame and Ivory Coast international Guy Demel, who were on opposing side's as an African Nations Cup qualifier was abandoned due to crowd violence.

Allardyce expressed his relief at their safe return: "We had two very important players away in that horrific situation ... they've come back okay," he said.

Andy Carroll only managed 17 minutes of action for England in their two World Cup qualifying games, but Allardyce was happy to see the on-loan Liverpool striker continue to build up his fitness after recently returning from a hamstring injury.

"Obviously Andy would have liked to have played more than he did. But he got 17 minutes against San Marino," Allardyce said. "He's with a group of very talented players in a very competitive two weeks and the training that they will have done will hopefully help continue with the growth of his fitness for us. And he'll continue to stay fit from here on in and hopefully for a long period of time."

Information from the Press Association was used in this report.

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