NEIL Lennon has accused USA boss Jurgen Klinsmann of showing a “lack of respect” to Tim Ream and Wanderers after snatching the defender for international duty this week.
Ream was flown out to Dublin on Tuesday for a friendly against Ireland but played just three minutes of the 4-1 defeat at the Aviva Stadium.
In doing so the defender missed two days of preparation for tomorrow afternoon’s clash with Blackpool – prompting an angry response from his club boss.
Lennon is now demanding an explanation from the US camp for why they selected a player without any intention of playing him from the start against the Irish.
“I am not happy at all,” he fumed. “Thankfully he’s back and fine now – it must have been a really exhausting minute of football with the team 4-1 down.
“I want an explanation. They had two games (the US had played against Colombia at Fulham’s Craven Cottage last Friday) and they should have called him in after that initial game.
“And yet they call him in on the night before the game so he has to get flight on Tuesday morning to Dublin and then play one minute of an international.
“People wonder why footballers don't want to play for their country any more? I am not saying that is the case with Tim. But when you see them being treated like that it makes me very angry.
“There is a complete lack of respect for the player and a lack of respect for our club. I am still waiting on an explanation from someone. I have contacted the American FA and made my feelings pretty clear.”
Klinsmann called on Ream after Hertha Berlin’s John Brooks sustained a minor ankle injury in training on Monday. But according to reporters at the game, the defender's absence was only confirmed after the official team-sheets were printed on Tuesday night.
It is now known a small number of players were sent back from the US camp after the 2-1 defeat against Colombia but Lennon is now demanding to know why Ream was hauled away for international duty but given such scant playing time on the pitch.
“I know they sent some players back and that a centre-half got injured on Monday,” he said. “That isn’t a problem. But then to give him one minute? Did they do it just to give him a cap?
“We send players away to enjoy playing for their country. But when they are treated like that it is very upsetting for me.”
Klinsmann has previously enjoyed a good relationship with Wanderers, and even visited a development squad game involving Stuart Holden at Leyland a couple of years ago.
Adam Bogdan, Chung-Yong Lee, Conor Wilkinson and Medo Kamara were also away on international duty, with all four in contention for tomorrow's game at Bloomfield Road.