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Thursday, 21 November, 2002, 02:17 GMT
Robson suffers Bellamy backlash
Craig Bellamy in action against Feyenoord in the Champions League
Bellamy starred against Feyenoord last week
Newcastle boss Sir Bobby Robson has received hate mail after withdrawing striker Craig Bellamy from international duty.

Wales claimed a vital Euro 2004 victory in Azerbaijan on Wednesday but had to do so without Bellamy.

Robson insisted that his player could only play one game in the week as he struggles with a knee injury.


I would have loved Mark Hughes to have Craig available
Sir Bobby Robson
And the decision to save Bellamy for Saturday's trip to Manchester United has not proved popular outside Newcastle.

"I've had some unbelievably rude faxes from Wales," said Robson.

"I understand their frustration but they don't know the facts and they shouldn't waste our time.

"They're crucifying us for not letting Craig go, but he's been out for seven months.

"He wasn't fit at the start of the season, he's played and had a reaction, and he's been away for three weeks getting right again."

Robson insisted he had no problem with Wales boss Mark Hughes and described the side's win on Wednesday as "quite wonderful".

"It's not a club versus country row," said Robson.

"How many of our players have we let go on international duty this week? Lots.

"It's a fitness versus selection debate. If he's not fit then he's not available and he can't play - it's as simple as that.

"I would have loved Mark Hughes to have Craig available.

"He played against Feyenoord but he would have told you himself that he couldn't have played against Azerbaijan."

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