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Last Updated: Thursday, 29 September 2005, 17:28 GMT 18:28 UK
Toshack slates Thatcher's desire
Wales and Manchester City left-back Ben Thatcher
What I'm not in the habit of doing is go around cap in hand pleading with players to play for their country
Wales manager John Toshack
John Toshack says Ben Thatcher's decision to stop playing for Wales has proved the defender lacks commitment.

"He's played every game for Manchester City this season including two hours at Doncaster," said Wales manager Toshack.

"Yet on the three occasions we have called him to the Wales squad, he has not trained for one minute.

"So I have to say really that any suspicions that we may have had about his commitment have been confirmed by this latest notice."

Thatcher made a statement through his agent on Tuesday saying he did not want to be considered for Wales selection for the "foreseeable future".

The 29-year-old had withdrawn from the Wales squad before this month's qualifiers with a damaged ankle.

But the former England Under-21 captain was unhappy that the Wales management sent its own medical team to check the injury.

"Comments and actions in the build-up to the England and Poland games have made my position within the Welsh squad untenable for the time being," said Thatcher.

"The FAW has been made aware of my feelings and no effort has been made to redress the situation.

I can only stress again the great honour and privilege I have felt to play for Wales
Ben Thatcher

Thatcher, who has won seven caps, has not yet played under new manager Toshack because of a combination of suspension and injury.

He becomes the second Premiership player to fall out with Toshack following Robbie Savage's public spat with the Wales boss.

But Toshack, who named his squad to face Northern Ireland and Azerbaijan on Thursday, stressed he has no intention of asking either player to reconsider their positions.

"What I'm not in the habit of doing, and I'm not going to do, is go around cap in hand pleading with players to play for their country," Toshack said.

"And when a game is finished, I don't consider I should have to shake their hands and thank them for turning up.

"We used to thank the manager for picking us."

Left-back Thatcher played 90 minutes in the Manchester derby three days after Wales' game with Poland.

But the Swindon-born defender, eligible for Wales through his Welsh grandmother, is unhappy with suggestions that he is not committed to the Wales cause.

"I cannot prevent supporters and journalists alike from reaching their own conclusions as to my motives," Thatcher added in his statement.

"I can only stress again the great honour and privilege I have felt to play for Wales, and wish the players every success in these matches."

Ratcliffe riled by Thatcher snub
28 Sep 05 |  Internationals


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