‘I did not refuse Wales’

West Ham defender James Collins says he did not refuse to play for Wales as suggested by Chris Coleman.

Manager C

oleman claimed Collins had refused to join the Wales squad ahead of the 3-0 defeat by Serbia.

“I would like to clarify that I was not contacted by Chris Coleman or anyone at the FAW to request that I join up with the squad for the game,” said Collins.

Coleman wanted Collins to join the squad after suspension of Ashley Williams and an injury to Sam Ricketts.

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Had I been asked I would have gladly joined up with my team-mates and represented my country

James Collins
Wales and West Ham

“James explained to me that he didn’t want to come into the squad after being on stand-by because psychologically he was disappointed,” said Coleman on Tuesday.

“But that’s not the attitude I’m looking for.”

However, James released a statement on Wednesday evening answering the comments made by Coleman after the

3-0 defeat by Serbia

at Cardiff City stadium on Tuesday.

“Following reports in the media today, I feel obliged to set the record straight as it has been wrongly suggested that I refused to play for my country against Serbia on the 10th Sept 2013,” said Collins’ statement.

“Had I been asked I would have gladly joined up with my team-mates and represented my country.

“I did have a conversation with Chris to try to seek clarification on why I had been left out of the initial squad for both the Macedonia and the Serbia matches. But at no stage did I state that I would refuse to play for Wales.

“I am proud to come from Wales and even prouder to pull on the red shirt of my country so the suggestion that I would ever refuse to play for them is plainly wrong.”

Coleman partnered Crystal Palace’s Danny Gabbidon and Swansea’s Ben Davies in central defence against Serbia, even though the latter had never played in that position at a professional level.

The defeat to Serbia, coupled with

Scotland’s 2-1 win in Macedonia,

leaves Wales bottom of their World Cup qualifying group with two matches remaining.

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