Wales call for Earnshaw, Robinson
CHRIS WISE Norwich City pair Robert Earnshaw and Carl Robinson have both been included in Wales' squad for the next two Euro 2008 qualifiers.
Norwich City pair Robert Earnshaw and Carl Robinson have both been included in Wales' squad for the next two Euro 2008 qualifiers.
Robinson is likely to play from the start in the fixtures against Slovakia and Cyprus at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium, while in-form striker Earnshaw - who was a substitute in the Principality's opening game in the Czech Republic - could also be given his chance because of injuries to key personnel.
Definitely out are Mark Delaney (knee) and Sam Ricketts (fractured cheekbone) while Carl Fletcher (ankle) is extremely doubtful. Skipper Ryan Giggs has been named in an initial 24-man squad but is unlikely to be involved.
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Giggs is recovering from a hamstring injury and his four-week treatment schedule finishes the day Wales play Slovakia on October 7.
Boss Toshack has faint hopes that Giggs could be ready to face Cyprus at the same venue on October 11, but he's fearing the worst, saying: "I have had a couple of chats with Ryan and he wants to be involved, but this has been a severe tear of his hamstring and his recovery period ends on the day of the second of our two Group D matches. We have to be realistic and start preparing to be without him."
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It is likely that veteran keeper Paul Jones will take over as skipper, earning his 50th cap against Slovakia.
Toshack will add two more players to the list in the next week, one of whom will be West Brom's John Hartson as long as he can prove his fitness after an ankle problem. There is the prospect that ex-Canary Chris Llewellyn - now with Wrexham - could be among the late call-ups.
Squad: P Jones (QPR), Brown (Blackburn), Price (Ipswich), Page (Coventry), Valentine (Wrexham), Collins (West Ham), Gabbidon (West Ham), Bale (Southampton), Duffy (Portsmouth), Edwards (Wolves), Nyatanga (Derby), Crofts (Gillingham), Davies (Everton), Ledley (Cardiff), Parry (Cardiff), Robinson (Norwich), Vaughan (Crewe), Earnshaw (Norwich), Koumas (West Brom), Giggs (Manchester United), Bellamy (Liverpool), Cotterill (Wigan), Fletcher (C Palace), M Jones (Wrexham).