Chris Coleman stands firm on James Collins row
4:34pm Friday 4th October 2013 in National Football
NATIONAL manager Chris Coleman has not ruled out selecting Newport’s James Collins for Wales in the future, but is adamant that the West Ham defender rejected the chance to feature for his country and will not let the issue be “brushed under the carpet.”
Collins was a notable absentee from Coleman's squad for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Macedonia and Belgium, despite injury doubts over captain Ashley Williams.
Following Wales' 3-0 home defeat at the hands of Serbia last month, Coleman criticised Collins, claiming the centre-half had turned down the chance to join up with the squad.
Collins responded with a statement in which the 30-year-old insisted he had not heard from the Football Association of Wales.
However, manager Coleman rubbished that suggestion, and clarified Collins had been invited to join the squad, having missed out on the initial selection, prior to the game in Macedonia which preceded the Serbia match in Cardiff.
He said: "With James, I aired my views after the Serbia game in disappointment with everything. I haven't changed that stance. I haven't changed my principles.
"I know exactly what happened and what was said after the camp by James' people. But I know what happened. I have everything there in place. I haven't changed my stance.
"I was bitterly disappointed in that situation. He was a player that we needed.
"He wasn't in the initial squad. We called him up because we had a pull-out. I sent a message through (FAW international secretary) Mark Evans and he refused to be considered for the squad.
"I called James up and he told me mentally he wasn't in the right frame of mind to come because he felt he should have been in the initial squad. I told him my disappointment on that.
"After that, we contacted him on the Sunday (between the Macedonia and Serbia games), we contacted him at 3pm.
"We got a call back at 8pm on the Monday night. James said his phone was broke or someone dropped the phone in water. That's what happened.
"Unless I was speaking to the wrong person when I called him up and unless someone contacted our secretary Mark and it wasn't James then I can't say anything else.
"I was disappointed in that and it's not something which is going to be brushed under the carpet with a phone call or a text message saying, 'Everything is alright'."
Coleman would be prepared to allow Collins back into the fold to add to his 41 caps, but made it clear a face-to-face meeting will be required to restore their working relationship.
"There is a serious conversation that has to take place," he said.
"That hasn't taken place yet. I was disappointed in James. I like James, he's a good man, but my job and how I see it and with the importance of players turning up for any Wales game - I didn't like that.
"I told James that on the phone. I wasn't happy that he wouldn't be considered as a stand-by to be called into the squad.
"My stance hasn't changed on that and it won't change.
"He got it wrong in my eyes."
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