Blackburn Rovers manager Mark Hughes looks set to pull Steven Reid out
Blackburn Rovers manager Mark Hughes looks set to pull Steven Reid out of the Republic of Ireland squad after the 26-year-old was surprisingly selected by Don Givens to travel to Wales for the final Euro 2008 qualifier.
Caretaker boss Givens called Reid up yesterday even though the midfielder has not featured for the Rovers first team in 14 months, having been out of action with back and knee injuries.
Reid played 90 minutes for Rovers reserves against Manchester City last night, but Hughes is adamant that the player is far from full fitness and needs more time to recover before making a return to the top flight.
"There's no way Steven can play because he's just not ready yet," Hughes told the Lancashire Telegraphtoday.
"The guy has been out for 14 months with two different injuries and he has yet to play a first team game for us, so there's no way he can play for his country."
"I don't want to set Steven specific targets because if he doesn't hit them, it seems like a setback.
"He's making good progress and you can see that he's getting stronger with every game he plays, but he probably needs another couple of matches yet before we can start thinking about throwing him back in.
"You can't rush people back when they've been out for as long as Steven has," added the Welshman.
Reid, himself, was pleasantly surprised by the call up, having last featured for Ireland in the opening qualifier against Germany in September 2006.
"I was a bit surprised, to be honest," he told the Blackburn Rovers website. "I've not heard from Don at all so it was a big surprise, but a nice surprise.
"Whether I'm up to European qualifying shape at the minute, I don't know.
"But I was delighted to be in it all the same, and it's things like that that make you start to feel you are getting back.
"I'm starting to feel like I'm getting back there, it has been another ninety minutes and another game under my belt, I've still got a little bit to do, but it is another step up to get back to Premier League level."
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