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By ESPN Staff

Speed hopeful of Giggs help

Wales boss Gary Speed has revealed Ryan Giggs is "very keen'' to help the national team's backroom staff on an informal basis whenever his Manchester United commitments allow.

Speed revealed the veteran winger was keen to link up with the squad for a couple of days at a time around international matches.

"I've spoken to Ryan a few times. He's very keen, but obviously he has got his hands full at Manchester United and it looks like he is going to sign for another year there,'' he said. "He might pop in a couple of days, he is very keen, but he has got to prioritise. I am sure Ryan will be knocking around the place, hopefully, now and again.''

Speed left Craig Bellamy out of his squad for the Carling Nations Cup match against the Republic of Ireland in Dublin next month. The forward, on loan at Cardiff from Manchester City, has an ongoing knee problem which restricts the number of games he can play in, and he is set to feature in a crucial game for the Bluebirds against fellow Championship promotion contenders Swansea on Sunday, two days before Wales' game against the Irish on February 8.

"I am sure everyone is aware of Craig's situation. It would be wrong of me to ask him play on Tuesday after playing on Sunday,'' said Speed. "You have to manage him the way his club manages him, and to play two games in three days is probably not something you would ask Craig to do with the history he's got with his injuries.

"Hopefully, longer term, he can play the majority of the games when he is available.''

Tottenham star Gareth Bale was not considered because of a back problem, but West Ham defender Danny Gabbidon is back in the squad after reversing his decision to retire from international football.

"I am delighted that Dan has decided to come back in. He is experienced, which we need among the younger players we've got,'' added Speed.

Another Cardiff loanee, Aaron Ramsey, has also returned to the squad for the first time since suffering a broken leg last season while Freddy Eastwood has also been drafted back in.

"I am delighted Aaron is available. He's really relishing the challenge he's got back at Cardiff, where hopefully he can get some games under his belt,'' said Speed. "The Ireland game might come at the right time for him where he can get some minutes under his belt.

"He's still very young, and we have to make sure we don't rely on him too much and put too much pressure on him. If Wales are going to achieve anything, it's as a team not as individuals. Hopefully, Aaron will have a big part to play in that.

"He's hopefully one of the cogs in the wheel that will make us successful. He can change a game, and those players are invaluable to you if you are going to be successful.''

But Speed was unable to talk Fulham midfielder Simon Davies out of retirement. He said: "Simon said he was tempted, but at the moment he is going to concentrate on his Fulham career, which I accept totally. I was in the same position once, and it is a very personal choice.''


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