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Page last updated at 20:54 GMT, Thursday, 6 January 2011

Danny Gabbidon considering Wales return

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

New Wales manager Gary Speed has asked West Ham United centre-back Danny Gabbidon to rethink his decision to retire from international football.

The 31-year-old quit Wales in October after suffering a bad few years with long-standing injury problems with calf, thigh and hamstring problems.

But Speed has asked Gabbidon as well as Fulham midfielder Simon Davies to do an international retirement U-turn.

"He is the type of player I would like to see change his mind," said Speed.

"I have left a couple of messages for Danny and I'm sure he'll get back to me in due course."

Gabbidon quit international football last year after winning his 43rd cap because of his long-standing injury niggles and in a bid to extend his club career

But the former Cardiff City defender made just three Wales appearances in three years as he struggled with his injuries.

Wales midfielder Joe Ledley, however, called on Gabbidon to rethink his international retirement earlier this week.

Ledley told his Twitter site: "I think my best mate in football Danny Gabbidon should come out of retirement and play for Wales. We need him."

Now Speed has contacted the player who would provide much-needed Premier League experience and depth in Wales' defence.

Speed has also spoken to experienced midfielder Davies about returning to the international scene that he quit last year.

Davies was one in that long line of established internationals that quit Wales duty in Toshack's six-year tenure when the 58-times capped midfielder announced his decision in August 2010.

But the 31-year-old, who retired to elongate his club career after struggling with a foot injury for 18 months, is now considering Speed's request to come back.

Asked if he thought Davies would come back, Speed said: "I don't know but I hope so. He's going to have a think."

Speed played alongside Davies and also Robbie Savage in Wales' midfield in their memorable 2004 European qualification campaign before Wales lost a two-legged play-off to Russia for a place in the finals in Portugal.

Especially with Wales which is a really young squad and maybe some of them are a bit quiet and not so many personalities in there. So even to have Sav there might be worth doing

Wales manager Gary Speed

Davies and Savage have since retired from the international game but Speed has had communication with both players as they may be set for a Wales recall.

Speed succeeded John Toshack as the permanent Welsh manager last month and his first game in charge is the Carling Cup opener with Republic of Ireland on 8 February.

And Speed expects young pair Aaron Ramsey and Jack Collison to be fully fit after leg and knee surgery respectively for the Dublin clash to line-up in a Wales midfield that could also include Joe Ledley, Gareth Bale, David Edwards and Andy King.

But the new Wales manager may have two Wales old heads in his squad after revealing playmaker Davies and Derby County battler Savage could be in line for an international return.

Speed started the trend of senior Welshmen when Wales' most-capped outfield player retired from international football after his 85th cap when the then boss Mark Hughes left to manage Blackburn Rovers in the Premier League in October 2004.

"I was a player that retired from international football," Speed told Sky Sports.

"I don't have any regrets in my career but if there was one thing I would change, I wouldn't have retired from international football when I did."

"I made that decision to retire, it was a personal decision and it is the biggest decision I made as a footballer. Looking back I'd have kept going.

"But I have spoken to Simon and he's going to have a think about."

Savage also quit under Toshack after he and the veteran boss publicly fell-out when Savage was left out of a Wales squad, while still playing in the Premier League for Blackburn, in March 2005.

But the 36-year-old has previously admitted his regret of the "hasty" decision to call time on his country and now hopes the new manager will give him a call.

"He text me to say if I need a holding midfielder against England then give me a shout," said Speed.

"He is playing well at Derby and more than anything he is a character - and sometimes people like him are worth their weight in gold in the dressing room.

"Especially with Wales which is a really young squad and maybe some of them are a bit quiet and not so many personalities in there.

"So even to have Sav there might be worth doing."

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see also
Bellamy no longer Wales captain
06 Jan 11 |  Welsh
Fixtures revealed for Nations Cup
01 Oct 10 |  Irish
Williams desires Wales captaincy
29 Dec 10 |  Welsh
Bellamy hands on Wales captaincy
26 Dec 10 |  Cardiff
Speed offers Giggs Wales chance
05 Jan 11 |  Welsh
Savage awaits Speed's Wales call
16 Dec 10 |  Derby
Wales unveil Speed as new manager
14 Dec 10 |  Welsh
Gabbidon quits international game
04 Oct 10 |  Welsh
Davies calls time on Wales career
08 Aug 10 |  Welsh
Savage announces Wales retirement
14 Mar 05 |  Internationals
Speed retires from Wales
13 Oct 04 |  Internationals
Wales' international fixtures
22 Aug 07 |  Welsh
Wales' results archive
10 Oct 05 |  Welsh
BBC Sport Wales coverage
03 Oct 11 |  Wales

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