Sunderland manager Martin O’Neill says Black Cats midfielder James McClean needs to control himself when it comes to social media away from the Premier League club.
O’Neill said it was fine and only normal that McClean interacts with people away from the pressures of Premier League football but the Northern Irishman is worried about McClean’s most recent actions.
The Sunderland midfielder burst into anger following last week’s Ireland game in Kazakhstan where the Derryman endured 90 minutes on the bench.
McClean was frustrated and hurt at not getting on the pitch despite Ireland performing woefully and him being one of the few players in the team playing at Premier League level consistently.
However O’Neill has told him he must control his actions and learn how to become a professional footballer in a stark warning delivered by the former Celtic manager.
“James has been acting rather strangely,” said the 60-year old. “It’s good when the player not only wants to play, but he also wants to manage the team as well.
“James is rather young for that at the moment. I think Mr Trapattoni has got a couple of years on him and a couple of titles too in front of James, so I think he’s entitled to pick the team.
“He has even admitted himself he has been rather foolish. He has taken himself off Twitter, apparently then he might have a situation with Facebook as well and about 14 other accounts that he has.
“He has a bit of a problem and we will have to rectify it. We can have a bit of a joke about it and laugh about it and think: ’Well, that’s OK’.”
On club policy, O’Neill added: “He does know the rules – they were read to him, they were given to him, he was there that day – and not only that, some of his language was pretty poor and we will have to deal with that.
“Genuinely, we can have a laugh about it first of all, but now it’s getting a bit ridiculous.”
McClean has issued an apology to his Ireland team-mates and manager Giovanni Trappattoni and the 23-year old played a part in this week’s friendly win over Oman.
The former Derry City player has also branded his own comments ‘idiotic’ and has taken himself off Twitter in an attempt to defuse the furore he has created and concentrate only on his football.