14,000 miles to sit on the bench

By Carl MarstonCHRIS Coyne again travelled half way around the world to just sit on the bench this week!Coyne was in the Australian squad to face Japan in Wednesday night's World Cup qualifier, but Colchester United's club captain was only an unused substitute in a 0-0 draw.

Carl Marston

CHRIS Coyne again travelled half way around the world to just sit on the bench this week!

Coyne was in the Australian squad to face Japan in Wednesday night's World Cup qualifier, but Colchester United's club captain was only an unused substitute in a 0-0 draw.

The Socceroos remain top of Group A of the Asian Qualifying section, and look poised to reach the World Cup in South Africa in 2010. But the situation with Coyne did not particularly amuse his club manager, Paul Lambert,


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“It's not great. To go 14,000 miles to sit on the bench!” rued Lambert.

“You have to try and see it from both sides. It is a privilege to play for your country, but if you have no intention of playing him (Coyne), then it's a long way to travel.

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“It's a different matter if he's going over to play, but otherwise it's not ideal.

“I saw Gordon Strachan (Celtic manager) complaining about the same thing happening to his player, Scott McDonald, who was also an unused substitute in Japan.

“I have not talked to the Australian FA, but obviously Gordon Strachan feels the same way as me. He's not happy,” added Lambert.

Coyne has not played for the U's since injuring his knee during the 2-1 win at Brighton on Boxing Day. In fact, it has been a real stop-start season for the ex-Luton stalwart, due all his international commitments and a few niggling injuries.

But Lambert insisted: “Chris (Coyne) was fit to play. He's been back training for a while, and had an outing for the Reserves.”

Coyne has started just 13 games for the U's this season. The 30-year-old has earned five caps for Australia.

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