Toshack keeping quiet on Bellamy future

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Football News

The thorny subject of Craig Bellamy's international career overshadowed Wales' latest efforts after they suffered a 1-0 defeat to Sweden on Wednesday night.

Bolton's Johan Elmander grabbed the only goal of a low-key international friendly at Swansea's Liberty Stadium on the stroke of half-time. It was a victory Sweden deserved but Wales showed tenacity in the second half and, driven forward by in the influential Gareth Bale, might have forced a draw with Robert Earnshaw twice going close.

Yet it was Manchester City striker Bellamy who commanded most attention after the match, as manager John Toshack refused to answer questions about his absence and when asked what his position with Bellamy was, Toshack said: "No comment whatsoever.".

Bellamy, still officially the Wales captain, was overlooked for the fixture as Toshack suggested the 30-year-old would no longer feature in friendlies.

Yet Toshack's failure to state whether Bellamy would return for the start of Euro 2012 qualifying in September has led to plenty of speculation.

When pressed further and asked whether Wales had missed Bellamy, Toshack chose to highlight other missing players such as Aaron Ramsey, Joe Ledley and David Edwards.

Ramsey was missing after suffering a badly broken leg playing for Arsenal in the Premier League last weekend.

The midfielder looks set to be out for at least six months and his Wales team-mates showed their support by warming up in T-shirts bearing his name.

"We learned we want Aaron Ramsey back as quickly as possible," said Toshack. "In the last few games we have found his best position in our set-up.

"We have had just the one session and since the last game we have virtually had the heart ripped out of the side, particularly in the middle of the park."

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