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Bellamy back for Wales

Craig Bellamy’s ‘good frame of mind’ is the driving factor behind his inclusion in the Wales squad, manager Chris Coleman said.

The 33-year-old has not represented his country since August last year, when they fell to a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Bosnia, due to reoccurring knee problems and personal issues.

However, the player’s club manager, Malky Mackay, has recently stated that Bellamy is ready to return to the international scene, citing his ‘fantastic vein of form’ after four goals and three assists in 18 games for the Bluebirds.

And former Fulham boss Coleman is confident the player is mentally and physically ready for the February 6 clash against Austria.

“I’m delighted he is in a good frame of mind and hopefully we will have him for the Austria game,” he said.

“I think he has fallen in love with football again which is good news for everyone.

“It was always down to Craig when he felt he was ready mentally, as well as physically, to come back into the fold.”

Bellamy, who has 70 Wales caps and also represented Team GB at the Olympics, played in Coleman’s first game in charge, a 2-0 defeat against Mexico, but has since clocked just 20 minutes against Bosnia.

But Coleman reiterated that, after rediscovering his love for football, the former Liverpool man is in a ‘good place’ and has ‘so much to offer’.

“Speaking with him 10 days ago he feels he is in a good place at the moment,” he added. “Six to eight months ago he was in a different place.

“I had a good conversation with him. Cardiff are doing very well and Craig’s fitness is good. I thought we would get him back because he has had so much to offer.

“I think he maybe lost a bit of love for football and he’s always been super-passionate about football, and he’s found that again.

“We will take it game by game. He has had his injury problems and he isn’t getting any younger, but he has a lot to offer providing he is fit physically and mentally.

“At the minute he is in a good place and that’s why he is in the squad.”

Elsewhere in the Wales squad, West Ham’s Jack Collison returns after recovering from injury, Swansea’a Ashley Williams retains the captaincy ahead of Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey and Bolton’s Craig Davies wins a call-up following injuries to duo James Collins and Danny Gabbidon.

Fri 1 Feb, 2013
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