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'Squad strongest I've had'

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: February 06, 2013

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CHRIS Coleman believes the squad he has available to face Austria tonight is the strongest since he took over as Wales manager.

Craig Bellamy has returned to the international fold for the Liberty Stadium friendly and Jack Collison is back from injury, while star names like Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey are also included.

Ashley Williams will skipper a side that should contain former Swansea City midfielder Joe Allen and local lad Ben Davies, with Jazz Richards expected to be named on the bench.

Only Crystal Palace goalkeeper Lewis Price has withdrawn from the group that did not include the injured Steve Morison, and Coleman is looking forward to seeing what a fully loaded Wales are capable of.

"This is probably the strongest squad we've had available, certainly in my reign anyway," said Coleman.

"Bellers is back, we haven't had him for some time.

"He's got a smile on his face and a spring in his step.

"I had a conversation with Craig ten days ago when he said 'look, I'm ready'. That was a step forward and a positive.

"The boys have been great because we don't see each other a lot.

"We've got to try to take the game to the Austrians and we've got to try to pick the momentum up a bit.

"We've got these boys together and we need them for the next three, four games.

"We need to keep them together and make sure we go on a better run."

stephen ware

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