West Ham defender James Collins to be handed Wales recall after settling dispute with manager Chris Coleman
Centre-back denied refusing to play for his country last month and after face-to-face talks with Coleman he looks likely to start against Macedonia and Belgium
Thursday 10 October 2013
James Collins is set to go straight into the Wales team to face Macedonia after settling his differences with manager Chris Coleman.
Coleman and Collins had been in dispute after the manager accused the defender of refusing to play for his country last month, something the West Ham player denied.
Coleman made it clear face-to-face talks would be necessary to resolve the disagreement and, after discussions in Cardiff on Wednesday afternoon, Collins has been brought back on board.
A Football Association of Wales statement read: "Following face to face meetings this afternoon between Wales manager Chris Coleman and James Collins, the experienced West Ham defender has been called up into the Wales squad to face Macedonia and Belgium.
"Collins took part in a full training session at the Vale of Glamorgan training complex this (Wednesday) afternoon."
The 30-year-old's return proves particularly timely with Coleman shorn of defendsive options with captain Ashley Williams, Ben Davies, Adam Matthews, Sam Ricketts and Danny Gabbidon among 10 withdrawals for the final Group A double-header.
Liverpool's 16-year-old winger Harry Wilson has also been handed a call-up, his first to the senior squad, after impressing for Wales Under-17s in their recent fixtures against Hungary, Scotland and Slovenia.
The recall of Collins has come out of the blue after he was not among nine players called up by Coleman on Monday following the raft of withdrawals.
The centre-half's chances of adding to his 41 caps under Coleman had appeared slim, although the player was adamant he had not received a request to join up with the national squad during the defeats to Macedonia and Serbia last month.
Speaking last Thursday at his squad announcement, Coleman had not closed the door on selecting Collins in the future, but pulled no punches in his view of events in September.
He had said: "I was disappointed in James. I like James, he's a good man, but my job and how I see it and with the importance of players turning up for any Wales game - I didn't like that.
"I told James that on the phone. I wasn't happy that he wouldn't be considered as a stand-by to be called into the squad.
"My stance hasn't changed on that and it won't change. He got it wrong in my eyes."
But Collins called Coleman to request a face-to-face meeting and the pair have buried the hatchet, with the defender almost certain to start alongside Chris Gunter against Macedonia in Cardiff on Friday night.
However, striker Sam Vokes and midfielder Aaron Ramsey remain doubts for Friday's game having only taken part in light training on Wednesday.
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