Cheltenham Town boss Gary Johnson has called for a huge rule change following midfielder Joe Morrell’s call up to the Wales U-21 side.
Wales have selected the squad in preparation for their European Championship against Bosnia and Herzegovina and Romania this week. The midfielder has received his second call-up to the side following his impressive form for the Robins.
The on-loan Bristol City youngster will now miss two matches for Cheltenham, starting with their Checkatrade Trophy tie with New port County on Tuesday and also their away match at Luton Town on November 11th.
Gary Johnson, who is losing the midfielder to international duty for the second time this season, has called for a big shake-up of the rules for matches in such circumstances. The manager speaking to Gloucester Live at his press conference pre Maidstone said “We should be able to cancel games if one of our players can’t play.
“There are plenty of Tuesdays later on that we could fit it in on. If someone is getting an international call-up then they are probably one of your best players.
“But that is the circle of football, someone does well and you either lose them to higher clubs or lose them to internationals.”
But Johnson revealed he has a plan to save his side from suffering a similar fate later on in the season: “What we’re going to have to start doing is signing two other Under-21 Welsh, Irish internationals – anyone to make sure we don’t lose our best players.”
League rules at the moment are that if a team has 3 or more players away with international teams then fixtures are rearranged to a more favourable date for both sides. However with Morrell being the only Cheltenham player involved in the international round of fixtures Cheltenham must continue ahead with their season without the 20 year-old.
Johnson also refused to rule out putting Morrell straight back in the team when he returns from U-21 duty with Wales, saying “It’s probably bitter sweet for him as well, he could get injured, we could win well and he might not be able to get back in the team. So it’s always a difficult situation when these Under-21 teams pick players who are regulars in our first team.”