Speed: Bellamy wants World Cup role

14 November 2011 08:46

Manager Gary Speed is confident Craig Bellamy will still be turning in man-of-the-match displays for Wales when their bid to reach the 2014 World Cup kicks off next year.

The 32-year-old Liverpool forward was outstanding in Saturday's comprehensive 4-1 victory over Norway, scoring one goal with a lovely curling effort and helping set up another for Sam Vokes late in the game.

"I can't speak highly enough of Craig, his work-rate and football intelligence is fantastic," Speed said. "I know Craig better than anyone and I don't think he would be here now if he did not want to be involved in the World Cup."

The goal was Bellamy's 19th for his country, his first since finding the net against Luxembourg 15 months ago, and helped Speed to the biggest win of his tenure to date and a fourth victory in the last five games.

Speed added: "I know what he is like and he wants to play at the top level for as long as possible, and he looks after himself better than any player I know."

Bellamy, along with Gareth Bale and captain Aaron Ramsey, has been an integral part of Wales' recent revival under Speed, which has seen them rise from 117th to 45th in the world rankings.

But the manager rejected the notion that the former Manchester City player has raised his game in recent fixtures.

"I don't think he has had a new lease of life or anything like that. Craig is always like that, he has been excellent in all our games," he said.

"As a coaching staff we tend to look at things differently than the media. For you guys it's about creating chances and scoring goals but Craig's work-rate is fantastic and has been really prominent in the last few games.

"His goal was fantastic and our third goal was a great team goal and it was down to the intelligence that Craig showed."

Source: PA