Collins: I'm a proud Welshman

  • Last Updated: September 11 2013, 21:18 BST

Wales defender James Collins has hit back at criticism by national team coach Chris Coleman, insisting he did not refuse to play for his country.

James Collins after an earlier qualifying defeat by Croatia
James Collins after an earlier qualifying defeat by Croatia

Coleman said the West Ham defender did not want to join the squad because he was "psychologically disappointed" at only being put on stand-by.

The Wales boss was short of options at centre-half for Tuesday's 3-0 World Cup qualifying defeat to Serbia as Ashley Williams was suspended and Sam Ricketts injured.

But Collins has dismissed suggestions he turned down a call for help from the national team.

"Following reports in the media today I feel obliged to set the record straight as it has been wrongly suggested that I refused to play for my country against Serbia on the 10th Sept 2013," he said in a statement to Press Association Sport.

"I would like to clarify that I was not contacted by Chris Coleman or anyone at the FAW (Football Association of Wales) to request that I join up with the squad for the Serbia game.

"Had I been asked I would have gladly joined up with my team-mates and represented my country.

"I did have a conversation with Chris to try to seek clarification on why I had been left out of the initial squad for both the Macedonia and the Serbia matches.

"But at no stage did I state that I would refuse to play for Wales.

"I am proud to come from Wales and even prouder to pull on the red shirt of my country so the suggestion that I would ever refuse to play for them is plainly wrong."

Coleman had earlier said he had been disappointed with the 30-year-old's attitude.

"James explained to me that he didn't want to come into the squad after being on stand-by because psychologically he was disappointed," he told the BBC.

"But that's not the attitude I'm looking for.

"I'd rather someone turns around to me and says, 'I should be in the squad, you got it wrong and I'm going to roll my sleeves up to prove you wrong'. That's what I'm looking for and I didn't get that.

"James Collins is not the reason we lost. The reason we lost is we were outplayed by a better team and we didn't perform and that's something we need to look at."


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