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Last Updated: Wednesday, 12 September 2007, 19:48 GMT 20:48 UK
Toshack heaps praise on Bellamy
Skipper Craig Bellamy led Wales by example in Slovakia
Skipper Craig Bellamy led Wales by example in Slovakia
Wales boss John Toshack hailed skipper Craig Bellamy's display in the 5-2 win away to Slovakia as "unbelievable".

Bellamy scored two great goals, forced an own goal from Jan Durica and had a hand in both Wales' other scores.

"You normally have 22 players battling away out there, pretty evenly matched. This game saw 21 players and one who was just unbelievable," Toshack said.

"It was a scintillating performance - I cannot recall the last time I saw such an individual performance."

Bellamy, who missed the weekend's 2-0 home loss to Germany to be at the bedside of his ill newly-born daughter, felt he could have had even more from the Euro 2008 qualifier in Trnava.


"The Slovaks played a high defensive line and that suited us, because we are essentially a counter-attacking team," Bellamy said.

"I just wished I could have got three, I have scored two a few times. But this was special."

But Toshack, no mean striker himself in his playing days with the likes of Liverpool, was happy to give Bellamy his dues even if the West Ham forward was being coy.

"Craig gave us that result. His pace and willingness to run was stunning," Toshack added.

"The goals were very special and came after the team had gone behind early on.

"But that was an equally outstanding team performance. Overall I was very pleased with the outcome.

"Coming after a very disappointing display and defeat by Germany on Saturday, in which we had plenty of problems against a very good side, that was the perfect response."

It was the first time Wales had scored five goals in an away match in 11 years, and was also sweet revenge for the 5-1 defeat Slovakia handed them in Cardiff last year.

Craig Bellamy is our captain, our inspiration... he was terrific.

Wales boss John Toshack

"We do not often score five goals away from home, very few away teams in international football do," Toshack said.

"But we remember how we felt after losing to Slovakia 5-1 in Cardiff.

"We played the same system this time as we did in Cardiff against them, but this time the chances went in and in Craig we had the outstanding performance of the night.

"I suppose people will look at this result as a surprise, but then so was the 5-1 defeat we suffered at Slovakia's hands.

"But this was all about Bellamy and his attributes.

"He is our captain, our inspiration - even if no one really expected a performance like that. He was terrific."

It was Wales' biggest competitive away victory since 1996 when they won 5-0 in San Marino.

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