ALAN Pardew has angrily denied he let Loic Remy put country before club.
The forward didn’t play in Newcastle United’s final game of the season against Liverpool earlier this month.
Pardew told SportMail at the time that on-loan Remy had an ankle injury – and had not trained all week.
But the France international claimed this week that he had not played at Anfield with Pardew’s blessing so as not to risk injury ahead of next month’s World Cup finals in Brazil.
“The coach Alan Pardew understood my point of view,” said Remy, who scored in France’s 4-0 win over Norway last night after coming off the bench in Paris.
“We had nothing to play for and I didn’t want to risk getting hurt again.”
Pardew yesterday took the unusual step of issuing a statement through the club.
The 52-year-old was angered by the suggestion that Newcastle had “nothing to play for” on Merseyside given that 2,800 United fans travelled to the game.
Owner Mike Ashley is also acutely aware each Premier League place was worth £1.2m to the club.
As it was, United were beaten 2-1 and dropped down a place to finish 10th in the table.
Pardew said: “Following media reports concerning my player selection for our final game of the season against Liverpool, any suggestion that I colluded and agreed with our loan striker, Loic Remy, that he did not have to play in this game are wholly untrue.
“To suggest that I considered there to be nothing riding on that game is also completely false.
“Our final league position was at stake, as was the race for the Premier League title for our opponents, Liverpool.
“What is more, each and every one of us associated with the club was desperate to get a result for our supporters, especially those 2,800 travelling fans who made the journey to Anfield that day.
“The reality was that Loic had sustained an ankle injury in our game against Cardiff the previous week.
“The results of an MRI scan conducted after that fixture revealed ligament damage and swelling around the joint.
“It was a result of this injury and the fact that Loic was unable therefore to complete any training session during the week leading up to the Liverpool game, that meant he was not fit for selection.
“Had Loic been fit then clearly, without question, he would have been selected to play in what was a crucial game like every other.”
Remy – who is looking to leave QPR and join a Champions League club this summer – was always a near-certainty to be named in France coach Didier Deschamps’s 23-man squad for Brazil.
However, he needed to stay fit to make the final selection.
Had it not been for his keenness to avoid injury ahead of the World Cup, Remy could conceivably have been patched up to play against Liverpool.
But the 27-year-old was not in a hurry to return to the training pitch after having his ankle scanned.
The priority for Remy, who erred on the side of caution in making his comeback from a calf problem late last season, was the World Cup.
The club’s other World Cup-bound players all featured at Anfield.