I will not apologise, says Savage

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The Independent Online

Robbie Savage will not go back on his decision to retire from international football unless the Wales manager, John Toshack, makes the first move.

Robbie Savage will not go back on his decision to retire from international football unless the Wales manager, John Toshack, makes the first move.

Savage said he was no longer available for Wales after Toshack left him out of the squad recently beaten twice by Austria in World Cup qualifiers, but the Blackburn midfielder maintains he has done nothing wrong and will not apologise.

The 30-year-old has said nothing publicly since Toshack rang him on 14 March to say he had been dropped, just hours before naming his squad to face the Austrians.

"This is a matter of principle, I've got nothing to apologise about," Savage said.

Back-to-back defeats against Austria ended Wales' hopes of qualifying for Germany next year, and Toshack suggested that if Savage did want to return to the fold, the first approach should come from the midfielder.

The Wales manager, however, was very concerned about the "lack of respect to certain people" in Savage's outburst against the new regime. Savage claimed Toshack "would take Wales back to the dark ages" and that the coaching and training were "a shambles".

But a week after Wales' exit, Savage has broken his silence and insists Toshack must make the first move.

"I've got nothing to apologise about. I told the truth. I've always told the truth, and I do feel I was good enough to get in the 24-man squad that lost to a team who are below them in the world rankings," Savage said .

"Maybe I said a few things that were disrespectful but what I said was the truth and the one thing I won't do is pick up the phone to John Toshack and apologise because I don't think I need to.

"I've done nothing wrong and I retired because I didn't want to be humiliated.

"I feel as though the phone should be picked up to me and they should be saying we'd like you back in the squad because I feel I'm good enough."

Savage made several calls to the Millennium Stadium press box during the first defeat by Austria on 26 March, and was later advised by friends to make the first move and contact Toshack privately.

He added: "A lot of people have said I've done a U-turn, but I don't know where this has all come from because I've not spoken to anyone about it.

"All the press and the manager have spoken about it, but I've not mentioned it and I've not rung anyone."

Savage, who won 39 caps, insists if Toshack contacts him, he would be prepared to go back.

He said: "If he does that then I'll go back but until that time, if we are both going to be a stubborn as each other, then nothing will happen.

"Obviously, I'd love to play for Wales and people might say if that's the case then why don't I ring him up? But this is a matter of principle."

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