Speed reveals Wales starting XI

New Wales boss Gary Speed has revealed the starting eleven he has picked to face the Republic of Ireland at the Aviva Stadium on Tuesday night.

Last Updated: 07/02/11 at 20:33

Vaughan: Starts against Republic of Ireland

Vaughan: Starts against Republic of Ireland

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Wolves goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey has been given the nod between the sticks, with Blackpool's Neal Eardley, Aston Villa's James Collins, Stoke's Danny Collins and Bolton's Sam Ricketts making up the back four.

Norwich's Andrew Crofts and Blackpool's David Vaughan will anchor the midfield, allowing Reading duo Simon Church and Hal Robson-Kanu and Leicester's Andy King to move forward.

Nottingham Forest striker Robert Earnshaw will lead the line as a lone forward.

Speed has insisted he will be quite happy for Vaughan to continue as an unsung midfield hero.

While Charlie Adam has captured most of the headlines at Blackpool this season and attracted the attention of Liverpool and Tottenham, among others, the form of the 27-year-old former Crewe and Real Sociedad player has gone largely unrecognised.

However, Speed revealed he is well aware of the attributes of Vaughan and is hoping to benefit from them in the future.

The former Sheffield United boss recognised the "unsung hero" term.

He said: "Absolutely. I think Vaughany is quite happy with that. He is a great lad who keeps himself to himself.

"The limelight isn't something he craves but people in football know what a great season he is having.

"More importantly I'm sure Ian Holloway knows how important he is to him. He has done so well but his talent has always been there.

"He finds himself in a team fighting for each other and doing well, hopefully we can find the same."

Speed has immediately found that one problem in international football is dealing with call-offs as eight players so far have withdrawn from his original squad.

"It is a busy time of the season," he said.

"I've been in touch with the boys.

"Gareth (Bale) and a few others have been down to see me. It is in the middle of the season, a tough schedule and you are going to expect withdrawals.

"I don't think the commitment of the players who are not here is in doubt and the withdrawals have made the job a bit easier."

The former Leeds and Everton player revealed that in the absence of Craig Bellamy - who travelled but will not play - Collins would be skipper again

Speed said: "James is captain. With the withdrawals and the game on Sunday it would be very tough for me to name a permanent captain as yet.

"It's given me time to meet the lads, be around the camp and see what's going on. We'll make a permanent decision before the England game."

Speed believes the mere presence of Bellamy around the Wales camp is a fillip to him and his squad.

"It means a great deal," he said. "It says a lot about Craig and it is a great boost for me and the players.

"He wants to be part of it and I'm glad he's here.

"It's a fresh start and we want to put things in place we hope will stand us in good stead for the future.

"If Craig is there to see what we want in place - ideally I'd like all the boys that are not playing here, but that's not possible - it's a great boost for morale.

"I'm not surprised at all. I've known Craig for years and know what he is like."

Speed is looking forward to his venture in to international football but claims he is not going in to it with his eyes closed.

He said: "I'm under no illusions. I am a young manager and have got a lot to learn.

"I've got the attributes and basic skills and, more importantly, the team around me to do well.

"If the players buy into what we want to do - which I am sure they will - I am sure we will have a successful reign."

Wales team: Hennessey, Eardley, D Collins, J Collins, Ricketts, Crofts, King, Vaughan, Church, Earnshaw, Robson-Kanu.

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