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Page last updated at 15:00 GMT, Tuesday, 31 August 2010 16:00 UK

Danny Gabbidon urged against Wales retirement

EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP 2012 QUALIFYING GROUP G - MONTENEGRO V WALES
Venue: City Stadium, Podgorica Date: Friday, 3 September Kick-off: 1830 BST Coverage: Live commentary on BBC Radio Wales & Radio Cymru, live text commentary online and score updates on BBC Radio 5 Live and BBC Sport website. Live on Sky Sports 3


Danny Gabbidon
Gabbidon made his Wales debut against Czech Republic in 2002

Wales defender Danny Gabbidon has been urged not to consider international retirement after pulling out of another national team squad with injury.

The West Ham centre-back withdrew from Wales' Euro 2012 qualifying opener in Montenegro with a calf problem.

And former team-mate Iwan Roberts fears Gabbidon, who has played just three times for Wales in three years, may be considering international retirement.

But Wales team-mate James Collins said: "We don't want him to finish."

Roberts fears Gabbidon may follow the example of fellow Premier League Welshmen Ryan Giggs and Simon Davies, who suffered niggling injuries, and quit Wales to prolong their club careers.

And before the 31-year-old withdrew from the Wales squad to play Montenegro on Friday, Wales boss John Toshack warned Gabbidon he was no longer an automatic choice at centre-back because of the emergence of Swansea City's Ashley Williams and Craig Morgan of Preston.

Gabbidon endured a tough few years because of long-standing problems with his thighs, hamstrings, calves and lower back.

Collins demands Wales success

But he has battled back to match fitness to start in West Ham United's last two Premier League matches - including Saturday's 3-0 defeat to Manchester United.

Gabbidon, though, withdrew from Wales' 2012 European Championship qualification Group G opener in Podgorica on Friday because of his leg injury.

His former Wales colleague Roberts, a BBC Wales pundit, admits: "He has had plenty of problems over the past few years with injuries and has battled back to fitness.

"But once again he has had to pull out of a squad.

"He has been a great servant to Welsh football and maybe the time has come where he looks at the squad and that he may be third or fourth choice centre-half.

"And Danny may think it is time to start thinking of his club career with West Ham and get himself fully fit."

Gabbidon, who made his Wales debut in a goalless draw against the Czech Republic in 2002, made a half-an-hour cameo appearance in Wales' 3-0 friendly win against Scotland in November 2009 and old friend Collins hopes his 43rd cap was not Gabbidon's last.

"I've known him for a long time and he has had a lot of troubles with injuries," said his Wales defensive colleague.

I think it is fair to say we haven't really seen the Gabbidon of old since his injury problems

Wales boss John Toshack on

"But he is back playing regularly although he may have picked up a knock on the weekend which is unfortunate for us.

"Gabbs, though, is a great player and we need him to play on as long as we can."

The 27-year-old was Gabbidon's central-defensive partner for Cardiff City, West Ham and Wales before Collins signed for Aston Villa in September 2009.

And fellow former Wales and Cardiff defender Jason Perry said: "I hope that it doesn't happen.

"He may not be starting at present because he has had such a bad time though injuries," said the fellow former Cardiff City defender.

"But he is trying to get back and is certainly an important member of the Wales squad - and given half the chance with injuries, he would hold down the centre-back position.

"Wales haven't got masses of quality players and we're a small nation so we need everyone especially if they play in the Premier league - we can't afford to have people retiring."



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see also
Montenegro 1-0 Wales
03 Sep 10 |  Welsh
Toshack fumes at Collins injury
04 Sep 10 |  Welsh
Collins & Gabbidon back for Wales
19 Aug 10 |  Welsh
Toshack fears Euro defence crisis
07 Aug 10 |  Welsh
Pick your Wales XI
05 Feb 07 |  Welsh
Welsh football history
25 Mar 10 |  Welsh
Wales' international fixtures
22 Aug 07 |  Welsh
Wales' results archive
10 Oct 05 |  Welsh
BBC Sport Wales coverage
03 Oct 11 |  Wales
Country profile: Montenegro
24 Jan 12 |  Country profiles


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