Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Bellamy fires Wales Euro warning

Captain Craig Bellamy scored his 18th goal for Wales
Captain Craig Bellamy scored his 18th goal for Wales

Captain Craig Bellamy warned Wales' Euro 2012 qualifying opponents there is better to come after an impressive performance against Luxembourg.

The Manchester City striker scored with a brilliant strike and ran Luxembourg ragged in Wednesday's 5-1 friendly win.

Wales begin their Euro campaign away to Montenegro, who beat Northern Ireland 2-0 in their friendly, on 3 September.

"There's loads to improve on, especially myself, it's still very early pre-season," Bellamy said.

"I felt... it was just getting timing and there was still loads of things I need to work on leading up to games.

"But I've got a couple of weeks leading up to them, so if I can keep on nipping away in training, getting my fitness improved it'll hold me in good stead for Montenegro."

Leading up to the game Bellamy had expressed his fears that he might be left out in the cold at Manchester City this season, with the new rule limiting clubs to 25-man squads.

That situation did not improve any on Wednesday, as City manager Roberto Mancini left the Wales skipper out of his squad for the Europa League qualifying-round match against Romanian side Timisoara next week.

But if that is still weighing heavily on his mind the 31-year-old, who won his 59th cap in Wednesday's match, played with all his customary gusto in Llanelli's Parc y Scarlets.

As well as scoring his 18th international goal, Bellamy won the penalty which Joe Ledley converted and played a key part in two other Wales goals.

Despite being held 1-1 at half-time, a Wales team missing 10 injured players upped the pressure after the break to rip apart minnows Luxembourg.

"We knew if we could just get that ball a little bit quicker we could cause them a lot of problems, because we were taking a little too long to get it wide," Bellamy added.

"It allowed their team to get back behind the ball and make it harder, so we got things a little bit quicker and with the players we do have we will cause problems."

Bellamy praised debutant Steve Morison, the Millwall striker who a year ago was playing non-league football with Stevenage Borough, for his contribution.

"Great, it was a shame he didn't get a goal," Bellamy said. "I could have put a couple of balls in for him to be honest, I cut a couple back where I could have just stabbed it back because he was in a perfect position, so my own fault really.

"But he was there and what I was really impressed with was how hard he worked when he didn't have the ball, because that's what my game's about.

"When you see a front man doing it as well it inspires me to go on and close down and that's a big compliment to him."

David Cotterill, Andy King and Ashley Williams all claimed their first international goals for Wales, while Luxembourg were reduced to 10 men when Mario Mutsch picked up a second yellow card.

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