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Last Updated: Monday, 14 March, 2005, 19:07 GMT
Savage launches attack on Toshack
Robbie Savage
Robbie Savage says he retired from international football to avoid further humiliation at the hands of Wales boss John Toshack.

Savage said Toshack's decision to leave him out of Wales' squad was personal and not made for footballing reasons.

"He said he's leaving me out of the next couple of squads and I did say that it made my decision for me," Savage told BBC Radio Five Live.

"The man obviously doesn't like me. But obviously I'm devastated."

Earlier, Toshack claimed the Blackburn midfielder said he was going to retire anyway after being told he would not be in the squad for the two World Cup games with Austria.

Toshack said: "I told him I wanted to have a look at something else. He said he was retiring anyway and the line went dead."

But Savage insists he had not intended to retire from international football before that point.

Savage is on record as being against the appointment of Toshack following the departure of Mark Hughes to Rovers, who then signed Savage from Birmingham.

For a Premiership player to retire from international duty is too much
Ex-Wales midfielder Matthew Jones

The rift between the player and Toshack seemed to have healed somewhat.

But Savage, 30, said he was "forced into a corner" by Toshack and that he "wanted to play for Wales".

"I didn't want to be humiliated by being left out of the squad. I think I'm worth more than that," said Savage.

"If he feels there's an abundance of Welsh talent coming through then good luck to him.

"There's no better feeling than pulling the Welsh shirt on but there's no way I'm going to be humiliated by somebody.

"He made my decision for me. From day one I knew there was a clash of personalities and I think he's cut his nose off to spite his face.

"He's telling me I'm not good enough to get into a 24-man Wales squad. I'm retiring before he can humiliate me some more.

"You can't leave someone out of the squad who's got 240 Premier League games and 40 caps on a footballing basis.

"Who knows, this might prolong my club career so it's good news for Blackburn fans."

Meanwhile, Toshack has expressed his desire to give youth its head and build for the future.

"Savage was in the squad for the friendly with Hungary last month, he was injured and didn't play and we played with Carl Robinson and Carl Fletcher," said Toshack.

"I was happy with the way they played and want to see them in a competitive match.

"I felt it was important that I rang him [Savage] before I announced the squad. There has been a lot of speculation and I can only say what has happened."




WATCH AND LISTEN
Interview: Wales boss John Toshack


Interview: Former Wales player Robbie Savage


Interview: Blackburn assistant manager Mark Bowen



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