Toshack hopeful over duo
Wales boss John Toshack remains hopeful that Craig Bellamy and John Collins will be available.
Last Updated: 16/03/09 4:55pm
Wales boss John Toshack remains hopeful that Craig Bellamy and John Collins will be fit for their forthcoming World Cup qualifiers.
The duo have been included in Toshack's squad for the Cardiff meetings with Finland and Germany on 28th March and 1st April, respectively, despite both being on the sidelines with injury.
Manchester City striker Bellamy is out with a knee problem while West Ham defender Collins is battling a hamstring injury and both may not feature again for their clubs before the international fixtures.
But with Toshack admitting the Group Four date with Finland is 'win or bust' for Wales' World Cup 2010 qualification hopes, he is desperate to have the pair available for at least one of the forthcoming fixtures.
"We will have a good look at Bellamy and Collins when they join up with the squad, and just see what the situation is then," he said.
"It may be difficult to ask either of them to play two games in five days. But we will monitor what they do with their clubs in training, and then assess the problem.
"But they are confident and they know how important they are for us.
"Collins is our most experienced defender, he's 25 now and a regular at international level. The same applies to Bellamy, he is our most important striker.
"This first game of the two qualifiers is the most important. We cannot afford to lose against Finland, it is win or bust for us.
"We have two of Europe's best sides - Germany and Russia - in our group and only one will qualify by right. So for us or Finland to have a chance, our game is winner takes all."
Bellamy has not played since 1st March before limping out of the defeat at West Ham, while Collins has been out since 21st February.
Toshack may face opposition from Manchester City chief Mark Hughes - his predecessor as Wales boss - and West Ham manager Gianfranco Zola over the availability of both players.
He added: "I am hopeful that Bellamy and Collins will be fit. The information we have had is optimistic.
"These two are big, important players for us, and we desperately need them to be available.
"We have talked to Craig. The initial fear was that he could be out for several weeks, but it now seems the initial damage was not as bad as first thought.
"Craig is always very wary when the injury involved his knees. But I believe he is hopeful he will be OK. James feels the same.
"There is a possibility that they could be involved this weekend for their clubs, but we will just have to wait and see."