Wednesday 25 April 2018

Coleman gives Bellamy more time to make decision about Wales future

Andrew Baldock

Wales manager Chris Coleman wants Craig Bellamy's international future to be decided sooner rather than later.

Bellamy, 33, was not named in Coleman's squad for crunch World Cup qualifying clashes against Scotland and Croatia later this month.

But he could still be added to the 21-strong group, with Coleman having left two spaces available.

One of those is set to be filled by defender James Collins, who was sent off during the 2-0 defeat against Belgium last month.

Bellamy, though, might feature subject to fitness and whether or not he wants to extend an international career that has yielded 76 caps and 19 goals.

Coleman anticipates Bellamy being involved for Cardiff in their npower Championship game at Ipswich today, before speaking with him tomorrow.

"Craig has had a couple of knocks," Coleman said. "We've left two spaces open, and let's see how he comes through tomorrow, physically and mentally.

"We need to know from Craig whether he is coming to join us and staying, or not. If not, we have got to move forward. If he's staying with us then great, but I think that time is now.


"It is not like we have got another two or three Craig Bellamys. Players like that don't come around all the time.

"If Craig is not with us then we need to concentrate on the other players who are with us. If he is with us, great, if he isn't then let's shake hands and move forward."

Bellamy withdrew from the Wales squad that took on Belgium and Serbia last month -- Coleman's team lost both games and scored just one goal -- and there are many who believe he has played his last game of international football.

"Craig has paid his dues and he is a terrific player, but is he in or out?" Coleman added. "I hope he is in, but we have to know if he is ready or not ready.

"If he says he has had enough, then that's the end of it, or he is still struggling with injury and he won't be able to make it, then that is another thing.

"But we need to know if he is still involved or wants to be involved. I'll wait for a call."

Irish Independent

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport