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Sep, 29, 2010

Bellamy out of Switzerland and Bulgaria qualifiers

Captain Craig Bellamy is out of Wales' Euro 2012 qualifiers against Bulgaria and Switzerland next month.

Bellamy, currently on-loan at Cardiff from Barclays Premier League side Manchester City, has been sidelined for three weeks with a knee problem that has hampered him throughout his career.

Bryan Flynn, caretaker boss of the national side, confirmed that Bellamy would miss the forthcoming qualifiers. "Craig will be unavailable for the two matches next week,'' Flynn told BBC Sport Wales.

"I had a really long, excellent conversation with Cardiff manager Dave Jones just over 10 days ago ... and we made the decision that Craig will not be available due to his fitness. He has an ongoing knee problem and hasn't played for the last five games.

"Obviously we've been aware of that and unfortunately for Craig and for us he won't be able to put on a red shirt next week. It's a big disappointment for me as caretaker manager. I wanted Craig in the team but these things happen.''

Wales lost their opening Group G game against Montenegro and face Bulgaria at the Cardiff City Stadium on October 8, followed by Switzerland in Basle four days later. The defeat to Montenegro saw John Toshack depart as manager and Wales Under-21 coach Flynn appointed on a caretaker basis in his place.

Meanwhile, former Wales striker John Hartson today confirmed he had applied for the manager's job.

"I applied for the Wales job,'' Hartson said. "I'm 35 now and have got all my (coaching) badges. They gave Mark Hughes his first job at 35 with no experience behind him. I know the players, I know the system I would play, although that could change from game to game.

"I feel as if my time has come. I've been retired for three years. Brian Flynn is a great guy, I worked with him for the under-21s. He is a brilliant coach and if I was to miss out to anyone, Brian is a brilliant guy. I wish him well for the next two games. If I get it, I will be the happiest man in Wales and if I don't, I move on.''

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