Saunders supports Crossley for Wales

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The Independent Online
Dean Saunders has urged the Wales manager, Bobby Gould, to give his Nottingham Forest team-mate Mark Crossley the chance to fulfil his international ambitions.

Crossley was said to be attracting the interest of the Scotland manager, Craig Brown, last season, although Frank Clark, the Forest manager, discounted such stories, which he claimed were affecting the form of the Barnsley- born goalkeeper.

Now the 27-year-old Crossley has revealed that he is also qualified to play for Wales as well as England, and Saunders has expressed his wish to play alongside his club keeper in the national side as Wales attempt to qualify for the 1998 World Cup finals.

"I don't know what Mark wants to do, but I am trying to get him to play for Wales and I will be having a word with Bobby Gould," Saunders said.

"I'm sure we would love to have him playing for us. He's in the top bracket in the Premier League. The save he produced on Saturday late on against Leicester's Ian Marshall was the equivalent of a last-minute winner."

Crossley admitted: "I'm desperate to play international football, whoever it might be for. Nothing came of the Scotland thing, but I'm qualified on three fronts.

"I was born in England, my grandmother was Scottish - and she was married to a Welshman, which means I can play for them as well.

"My form did dip at the end of last season for various reasons but I sorted things out in the summer, signed a new contract and am getting back to my best. I've got no shortage of faith in my ability."

Clark, the Forest manager, said: "The story about Mark being wanted by Scotland caused embarrassment to Craig Brown. I know Craig and he would not contact any of my players without coming through me. It was a story put about by certain people who I won't name, but it did Mark no favours.

"The publicity got to him a bit, the contract situation became a bigger issue because of it and towards the end of last season he was off his game. He has come through all that and I'd be delighted if he was picked now by someone.

"People talk about their international hopes, but they will take care of themselves if they perform. If you are on top of your form, all the international managers will come running," Clark added.