Collins could make up with Coleman

Chris Coleman will attempt to repair his relationship with defender James Collins at a meeting on Wednesday.

Last Updated: 08/10/13 at 21:31 Post Comment

James Collins: Set to meet with Chris Coleman

James Collins: Set to meet with Chris Coleman

Chris Coleman will attempt to repair his relationship with defender James Collins at a meeting on Wednesday, as the Wales boss looks to patch up his injury-hit squad ahead of their final two World Cup qualifiers.

Coleman has seen 10 players pull out of his squad for the upcoming matches against Macedonia and Belgium, which could decide whether the 43-year-old retains his position in charge of the Dragons.

Wales have been hardest hit in defence - Ashley Williams withdrew with a ankle problem on Tuesday - but despite that West Ham centre-back Collins has remained on the outer after a dispute over whether or not he rejected the chance to play for his country last month.

Press Association Sport understands, however, that Coleman has agreed to meet Collins in Cardiff on Wednesday after the 41-cap veteran broke their silence with a phone call on Tuesday.

Coleman revealed last week that any resolution would need to be made face to face, and following Collins' contact he has agreed to speak to the player in order to settle their differences.

Should their meeting progress well there is a possibility that Collins could be drafted into the Wales squad in time for the Macedonia game in Cardiff on Friday.

The loss of Williams on Tuesday has left Coleman him with painfully few centre-half options with Chris Gunter and Owain Tudur Jones, normally a midfielder and last capped in May 2011, tipped to start against Macedonia.

Coleman has also seen the world's most expensive player Gareth Bale, Liverpool's Joe Allen, Celtic midfielder Joe Ledley and Brighton's Andrew Crofts withdraw on the day of last Thursday's squad announcement, with the quintet of Adam Matthews, Ben Davies, Danny Gabbidon, Sam Ricketts and Jack Collison following on Monday.

The injury crisis could yet get worse as Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey took no part in training on Tuesday due to a leg injury.

The exclusions have threatened to undermine the end to Craig Bellamy's 15-year international career after the forward announced the two matches would be his last in a Wales shirt.

The 34-year-old had previously stated he could not see himself playing a part in the Euro 2016 qualification campaign, but had also added the caveat that it was possible he could change his mind.

There had been suggestions next month's friendly with Finland would end up being his final game in a red shirt, but Bellamy will bow out after next Tuesday's clash in Brussels.

He said: "This is the last week of my Wales career, I will not play in November.

"To play 70-odd times has been the best, even with the disappointments, the lows and the times I did not want to play again, because defeats can do that to you.

"But to have the honour of going out and singing the anthem 70-odd times...it's different, it's the best and I hope I get the chance to do it on Friday and again on Tuesday."

Bellamy is the equal third most-capped player in Welsh history, and is set to win his 77th cap against Macedonia on Friday in what will be his final home appearance, which will fittingly take place in his hometown of Cardiff.

But his hopes of signing off on a winning note have been hit by the raft of withdrawals.

Williams had long been a doubt for the double-header due to his ankle ligament injury and Swansea manager Michael Laudrup had made it clear his defender needed a rest.

With his squad so severely hit, Coleman would have wanted to field the 29-year-old if possible, but now appears set to try to resolve matters with Collins as Wales attempt to haul themselves off the foot of the Group A table.

Coleman has so far brought in nine replacements in the form of Lloyd Isgrove, Tudur Jones, Danny Alfei, James Wilson, Rhoys Wiggins, Jermaine Easter, Shaun MacDonald, David Cotterill and Jazz Richards.


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