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Last Updated: Friday, 10 September, 2004, 08:26 GMT 09:26 UK
Savage revokes quit threat
Michael Hughes' tackle from behind led to Robbie Savage's sending off
Wales and Birmingham midfielder Robbie Savage has gone back on his threat to quit international football.

In an emotional interview after being sent off in the 2-2 draw with Northern Ireland, Savage said he was "seriously considering" his Wales future.

But on reflection he told the BBC: "I just love playing for Wales.

"The emotion of playing in front of 65,000 people at the Millennium Stadium is something I could never turn my back on."

Savage received the first red card of his career for retaliating to Michael Hughes' wild lunge in Wednesday's dramatic game in Cardiff.

"A tackle like that is a disgrace. He [Hughes] was trying to break my legs," said Savage.

I always seem to be defending myself, but this time I think I've got every right to
Wales midfielder Robbie Savage
"But I'm bigger and better than him and always will be. I got up after the tackle but I didn't even raise my hands.

"It was the normal reaction of anybody. I'm fiery and that's what I get paid for.

"Then I got pushed over again, so to get sent off I couldn't believe it. But it's not about me, it's about the team.

"They fought back well in the second half and credit to all the players on the pitch. I've let them, the manager, everybody down."

Hughes was also given his marching orders and David Healy soon followed him to the visitors' dressing room for an early bath after getting two yellow cards for an over-exuberant goal celebration.

Savage is currently serving a three-match ban after being found guilty on video evidence of elbowing Chelsea striker Mateja Kezman in a Premiership match.

He pleaded his innocence after that incident, but conceded that the television pictures seemed to show he had caught Kezman in the face.

"In a way I can accept that ban, but this decision was an absolute joke," Savage said.

"I always seem to be defending myself, but this time I think I've got every right to. Michael Hughes went for me in a bad way. He went to hurt me."

Fifa has confirmed the Football Association of Wales has no grounds of appeal over Savage's red card, meaning the Birmingham midfielder will be suspended for next month's Group Six qualifer against England at Old Trafford.

"To get sent off in front of my family is terrible," Savage added.

"It's the first time I've been sent off and the realisation hit me that I'll miss the biggest game I might ever be involved in in my career."

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