Sanchez sends home duo for breaking curfew

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The two Cardiff City midfielders were told to leave the side's training camp and will now miss the World Cup qualifiers against Azerbaijan and England. Sanchez is furious the duo returned to their hotel in County Antrim in the early hours of yesterday morning.

"They broke a curfew that everybody else was abiding to," Sanchez said. "The trouble is if you have individuals in organisations doing their own thing, then when push comes to shove eventually they do it on the field of play.

"It breaks down team cohesiveness," he added, "but no, there isn't a problem in the camp. In fact, I think the camp would prefer to have discipline within it."

Sanchez would not discuss the exact details of the incident or be drawn on the international future of Mulryne and Whitley."They will have to go back and reassess what happened," he said.

"I will have to go away and reassess what happens after the games. We will both make decisions based on that.

"I am not saying it is the end. You know people make mistakes. I have got to say with regards to Jeff on the field he has done well for me.

"Phil has not been such a regular, although he has been part of the squad, but Jeff has done well and that makes it even more disappointing for me that he isn't here.

"I think if you don't have discipline then you tend to end up in situations that are not advantageous to yourself or the people involved and you do dispirit perhaps other people who do, in the majority of cases, abide by the rules. It is sad it has happened. It is sad that those players put themselves in that situation and put myself in that situation but the decision has been made."

Of the two players' reaction, Sanchez said: "I think they are a little bit shocked. For a player it is the ultimate sanction to be sent home from an international get-together.

"It is something that is always remembered and it is not something that you do lightly but I felt at the time, in what was a big week for us, that we needed everybody to be disciplined or professional about what they are doing and about the way they are approaching the game."

Sanchez has called up Hibernian's hat-trick hero against Rangers, Ivan Sproule, Motherwell striker Andy Smith and Burnley's defender Michael Duff.

Despite the incident, Sanchez insisted morale ahead of the game with Azerbaijan at Windsor Park on Saturday was good. "It's another must-win," he said. "I think it's our seventh must-win game and, hopefully, it will become a win game. Hopefully, on Saturday we will be celebrating our first competitive win for four years at home.

"According to Fifa [the game's world governing body] they are exactly the same level as us, but I would like to think the calibre of player we have got is better.

"But it is how you perform on the day," Sanchez continued. "If we perform poorly, we will get beaten by them because like any team in international football there are very few mugs left about."