Wales manager Chris Coleman seeks Craig Bellamy decision

 

Wales manager Chris Coleman wants Cardiff City striker Craig Bellamy to say whether he intends to continue his international career.

Bellamy, 33, will miss Cardiff's Championship trip to Ipswich Town after suffering a knee injury in their midweek win over Birmingham City.

Injury also ruled Bellamy out of Wales' World Cup qualifying defeats by Belgium and Serbia.

Coleman said: "We need to know now if he still wants to be involved."

The former Fulham and Coventry manager, who has admitted that there is pressure on him to reignite Wales' 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign, had been under the impression Bellamy would play for the Championship leaders at Portman Road on Saturday.

But Bluebirds boss Malky Mackay insisted "Craig won't be coming to Ipswich with us" as he recovers from his knee problem.

Mackay had "no idea" whether Bellamy would be fit for Wales' 2014 World Cup qualifying double-header with Scotland in Cardiff on 11 October and Croatia in Osijek on 16 October.

Wales are already without three injured first-choice players, with goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey, left-back Neil Taylor and midfielder Jack Collison all missing the forthcoming Group A games.

Fifa 2014 World Cup Qualifying Group A

Played Won Points

Belgium

2

1

4

Croatia

2

1

4

Serbia

2

1

4

Scotland

2

0

2

Macedonia

2

0

1

Wales

2

0

0

Coleman could also be without James Collins for both games as the West Ham United defender awaits a Fifa Disciplinary Committee verdict on the length of his suspension following his dismissal against Belgium.

Collins was sent off for violent conduct after a challenge on Belgium's Guillaume Gillet and he was immediately banned for their 6-1 thrashing in Serbia. The suspension could be extended to two or even three matches.

Now Coleman wants a decision from Bellamy on his long-term Wales future as the experienced forward has previously hinted at international retirement .

He has scored 19 goals in 69 Wales caps and remains one of Wales' most potent attackers in tandem with Tottenham Hotspur winger Gareth Bale.

"We need to know from Craig whether he is staying with us or whether he isn't," said Coleman, who said he hoped to speak to Bellamy on Sunday.

"If not, we have got to move forward. If he's staying with us then great, but I think that time is now.

"I hope he's in. He is a terrific player. It is not as if we have two or three Craig Bellamys coming through. Players like Craig don't come along all the time.

Coleman has omitted Bellamy and Collins from Wales' initial 21-man squad but he has left the door open for both to be added later.

The Collins confusion adds to Coleman's defensive worries as the Wales boss will be without Hennessey (knee) and his deputy Boaz Myhill (thumb), as well as Taylor (broken ankle). Celtic right-back Adam Matthews is also struggling with ankle trouble.

Wales Squad: Jason Brown (Aberdeen), Lewis Price (Crystal Palace), Owain Fôn Williams (Tranmere Rovers), Darcy Blake (Crystal Palace), Ben Davies (Swansea City), Chris Gunter (Reading), Joel Lynch (Huddersfield Town), Adam Matthews (Celtic), Sam Ricketts (Bolton Wanderers), Ashley Williams (Swansea City, capt), Joe Allen (Liverpool), David Edwards (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Andy King (Leicester City), Joe Ledley (Celtic), Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal), David Vaughan (Sunderland), Gareth Bale (Tottenham Hotspur), Simon Church (Reading), Steve Morison, (Norwich City), Hal Robson-Kanu (Reading), Sam Vokes (Burnley).