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Last Updated: Tuesday, 6 November 2007, 16:22 GMT
Toshack bemoans loss of Bellamy
Wales manager John Toshack (Huw Evans Picture Agency)
John Toshack is without Craig Bellamy
Wales manager John Toshack has expressed his dismay at the loss of captain Craig Bellamy.

Striker Bellamy has not played football since aggravating a groin injury against Portsmouth last month, leading to his substitution at half-time.

Toshack had hoped that Bellamy could have become available but was advised otherwise by West Ham's medical staff.

"It is a blow for us because some of his performances for Wales recently have been his best," said Toshack.

Third place for us would have been a great achievement after all the problems we have had

John Toshack

"You never know with Craig, it takes a lot for him to miss a game and he'll do anything to play," added the Wales manager.

"But the medical people at West Ham have decided that this time he does need some time to recover from the groin strain he has."

Bellamy had surgery in Germany at the beginning of October and made an amazing recovery to play against Cyprus and San Marino.

He played one game for his club against Sunderland scoring in their 3-1 victory. But he left the field during half-time in the match against Portsmouth and has not played since.

"Craig has had the problem for a while and had minor surgery but it has obviously taken its toll and on the advice of medical people we have decided to keep him out of this one," said Toshack.

Owain Tudur-Jones returns to the squad having been out of football for nearly a year with knee problems and Toshack is delighted to have the Swansea midfielder available.

"We were very pleased with him at the start of his career, he broke into the under-21 side and he had a meteoric rise until knee problems kept him out for the best part of a year," said Toshack.

606: DEBATE

"He's not playing at the moment due to a minor ankle injury and I think had he been fully fit then he would have forced his way back into Swansea side.

"But it is great he is back playing and we brought him in just to have a look at him."

Toshack's side are in sixth position in Group D and the Wales coach has not given up hope of coming third in the table.

"Third place for us would have been a great achievement after all the problems we have had and we can still grab it," he said.


Wales squad for the Euro 2008 qualifiers against the Republic of Ireland in Cardiff on November 17 and Germany in Frankfurt on November 21: Hennessey (Wolves), Price (Derby), Bale (Tottenham), J.Collins (West Ham), Eardley (Oldham), Evans (Wrexham), Gabbidon (West Ham), Gunter (Cardiff), Morgan (Peterborough), Nyatanga (Barnsley), Ricketts (Hull), Crofts (Gillingham), A.Davies (Nottm For), S Davies (Fulham), Edwards (Luton), Fletcher (Crystal Palace), Tudur-Jones (Swansea), Koumas (Wigan), Ledley (Cardiff), Robinson (Toronto), Cotterill (Wigan), Earnshaw (Derby), Easter (Plymouth), Eastwood (Wolves).

SEE ALSO
Cyprus 3-1 Wales
13 Oct 07 |  Internationals


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