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Last Updated: Monday, 3 September 2007, 17:47 GMT 18:47 UK
Collins defends Wales withdrawal
Sunderland and Wales defender Danny Collins
Danny Collins is suffering with an ankle problem
Wales v Germany
Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
Saturday, 8 September
Kick-off: 1930 BST
Live coverage on BBC Radio Wales, Radio Cymru & the BBC Sport website.

Danny Collins has defended his decision to withdraw from the Wales squad.

The Sunderland defender ruled himself out of Euro 2008 qualifiers against Germany on Saturday in Cardiff and away to Slovakia the following Wednesday.

"I've just got back in the Sunderland team and it would benefit me to stay and get myself ready for a week Saturday (against Reading)," he said.

Wales boss John Toshack would not be drawn on Collins' withdrawal, but did note that "it's not the first time".

The pair have fallen out before, when Collins felt he was snubbed by being kept on the bench for a friendly with Paraguay.

The 27-year-old's public display of displeasure saw Collins overlooked by Toshack for subsequent squads.

606: DEBATE

But a heartfelt apology earlier this year was accepted by the Wales manager and Collins was recalled for the friendly against Northern Ireland in Belfast last February.

However, there exists a very real possibility that Collins may once again have damaged his standing with Toshack.

Collins told BBC Sport Wales that he remains committed to Wales despite the lure of playing regularly in the Premier League for Roy Keane's Black Cats.

"When I've been selected I've turned up and when I've got my chance to play I think I've given 100%," Collins said.

"But at the end of the day the club pays my wages, that's the argument I suppose, and I feel I can get the treatment here.

"It's my ankle, it's not so much ligament damage but I do tend to struggle after games.

"I'm not the first player to pull out through injury, there was one or two on the last trip (a friendly in Bulgaria) and I'm sure there'll be one or two more on this one."

With Wrexham centre-back Steve Evans also struggling with an ankle injury, Toshack could find his defensive options stretched if there are injuries to any more players.

The Wales boss has not ruled out calling up someone from the Under-21 squad, once they have played against France in Grenoble on Friday.



SEE ALSO
Collins makes peace with Toshack
26 Jan 07 |  Internationals
Collins fears Wales career over
16 Nov 06 |  Internationals


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