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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Sep 4, 2007

Bellamy ready to Hammer Germany - Toshack

Wales manager John Toshack believes his captain Craig Bellamy 'will be ready to take on the world' after his early-season form with new club West Ham.

The striker has scored three times in two games, including a cracker against Reading on Saturday, and looks to have settled in quickly at Upton Park.

Toshack, who has also hailed the impact 18-year-old Gareth Bale has made since joining Tottenham, now wants to see his senior players give everything they have against Germany in their Euro 2008 qualifier in Cardiff on Saturday.

Wales will be massive underdogs against the unbeaten Group D leaders at the Millennium Stadium, before they head off to face Slovakia in Bratislava the following Wednesday.

And Toshack knows he needs big performances from his experienced Premier League players.

He said: 'I am delighted to see how well Craig has done at West Ham. After the start he has had he will probably be ready to take on the world now.

'I have also noted West Ham manager Alan Curbishley's comments about Craig and the way he has hit form already this season.

'That is good to hear and I just hope he can continue in that vein for us in the next two internationals.'

Toshack witnessed Bale's first goal for Spurs on Saturday against Fulham, and said: He scored a very good goal and has really taken to the Premier League.

'He has only had two full games so far this term, plus 45 minutes for us in Bulgaria, when he showed up really well after a long spell out injured.

'We are fortunate that a few of our lads have hit good form already. Our keeper Wayne Hennessey and Freddy Eastwood at Wolves, in particular.'

Wales have James Collins, Bellamy, Jason Koumas, Carl Fletcher and Carl Robinson back after all missed the surprise win in Bulgaria last month.

Danny Collins (ankle), Danny Nardiello (back) and Paul Parry (personal reasons) have all pulled out while Wrexham defender Steve Evans has joined up with the squad despite having an X-ray on an ankle problem, which will be monitored over the coming days.

Toshack is clearly not impressed by Collins' absence and said: 'Danny has said that he would rather get his ankle right these next two weeks rather than come with us, because he is concerned about his Sunderland place.

'He has lost his place once at Sunderland this season and has just got back into the side.

'I am disappointed, and I do not know yet whether this will affect his international future.

'He asked not to be considered for these two games. Maybe he has looked around the squad and seen that he won't be getting much of a game with the options we have on the left of defence.

'If players these days feel they are not going to be involved they sometimes seem reluctant to spend 10 days with the squad.

'He says he is concerned with keeping his Sunderland place, but we can't just have people hopping in and out of the squad when it suits them.

'We are trying, though, to bring in a lot of new players and maybe he has seen that Joe Ledley and Gareth Bale are likely to start on the left-hand side.'

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