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Collie O'Neill admits Bristol Rovers radio silence 'not fair' on the Ireland under-21 defender

Mon, Jul 29 2019

Scales contests the ball with St Patrick's Athletic's Conor Clifford during a recent league game. Credit: Peter Fitzpatrick (ETPhotos)

UCD manager Collie O’Neill still believes Liam Scales will get his move to Bristol Rovers but admits the ongoing saga has not been fair on the 21-year-old defender.

Scales returned to the UCD side for the first time in four weeks as they lost 2-1 to Waterford at the UCD Bowl on Friday, a result that saw them slip three points behind Finn Harps at the bottom.

The Arklow native hadn’t trained or lined out with the Students since July 1st as the club sought to avoid unnecessary risk of injury in order to smooth his passage to the League One club.

Neither Scales nor UCD have had any clarification on the deal since – with vague suggestions that ‘paperwork’ was holding up the deal all that was offered – and no guarantee it will be done.

The radio silence on the issue from the English club since Scales travelled to Bristol to discuss terms of July 4th has left both player and club in the dark about what happens next.

O’Neill finally lost patience after seeing his side slip back to the bottom of the table with a  7-0 defeat to Shamrock Rovers on Sunday and restored Scales to the side.

The towering defender looked understandably rusty in the first half as UCD went 1-0 down early on but grew into the game and was unlucky to end up on the losing side.

“It’s a case where we were being good by not playing Liam in case it ruined him,” a frustrated O’Neill told extratime.ie.

“It just got to the stage where it was dragging on a little long and we just said he might as well come back and play until a deal is done.

“It’s not [fair on him]. He doesn’t know whether he’s coming or going, or what’s happening with it. Absolutely [he’s as confused as we are].

“I still think it will get done in this summer window. I think Liam’s looking forward to it being done so I hope it is.”