Rotherham United manager Steve Evans has vowed to pick up Kari Arnason after his World Cup heartache.
The classy defender, who can also be deployed in midfield, featured in both legs of Iceland’s recent play-off against Croatia.
But Iceland’s hopes of qualifying for next summer’s tournament, which takes place in Brazil, were dashed in midweek as they lost 2-0 on aggregate.
Evans has told The Star that Arnason will start tomorrow’s League One clash with Carlisle United as long as he is in the right mental state to play.
“If he is 100 per cent, Kari plays,” said the Scot. “I expected the big fella to be down because he cares. Kari is very proud to represent his country and proud of what they have achieved.
“He is down and disappointed as any man would be. It was probably a once in a lifetime opportunity that Kari would get to go to the World Cup finals.
“It is my job to make sure he is mentally right but I am hopeful that the big fella will be okay.”
Evans, who could hand a full debut to new loan signing Nouha Dicko, insists his best players are going nowhere in the January transfer window. He says he has received calls from two rival managers inquiring about Ben Pringle.
“There is not a chance on the planet that we are going to lose a player who we categorise as one of our top players,” insisted Evans.