Wales withdrawals continue

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Wales' problems deepened today when even one of their young re-enforcements, heading to bolster the senior squad, had to pull out with an injury.

Uncapped defender Darcy Blake, on loan from Cardiff to Plymouth, was forced to pull out with a calf injury picked up in Saturday's Under-21 victory over Bosnia-Herzegovina at Wrexham. That match had already robbed boss John Toshack of striker Ched Evans, who had scored both goals in the 2-0 victory and taking his tally to 13 from 12 matches at that level.

"There is nothing we can do about this situation, players have been pulling out and have made this a difficult problem," said Toshack.

Toshack was aware of Evans' injury soon after he had witnessed his seniors losing 2-1 to Finland in the Olympic stadium on Saturday evening, a result that ended Wales hopes of finishing third in World Cup qualifying Group Four.

But now Blake, 20, has also advised the FA of Wales that he is not fit to travel.

That means Under-21 captain Shaun MacDonald - also uncapped at senior level - and midfielder team-mate Andy King, are the only members of Brian Flynn Under-21 squad able to join up with the seniors.

Wales have also flown out MK Dons striker Jermaine Easter for Wednesday's final qualifier in Vaduz against Liechtenstein, with Walsall midfielder Mark Bradley on stand-by.

Toshack added: "This group has been very frustrating and we have had one problem after another. We have lost twice to Finland while doing okay against the two big sides, Germany and Russia.

"I won't be glad to see the back of this group, only glad one day to see us able to put out our best side without injuries, withdrawals and retirements to disrupt our plans."

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Milton Keynes Dons
Jermaine Easter
Mark Bradley
Cardiff City
Andy King
Darcy Blake
John Toshack
Plymouth Argyle
Ched Evans
Shaun MacDonald

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