Coleman: Fitness call will be up to Ashley
CHRIS Coleman will leave it up to Ashley Williams to decide if he can play in Wales's final two World Cup qualifiers.
The Swansea City captain was yesterday named in the Welsh squad to face Macedonia and Belgium later this month.
Wales boss Coleman selected Williams despite Michael Laudrup calling for him to be rested as he battles a long-standing ankle injury.
The Swansea manager said it would be better for club and country in the long term if Williams missed the two games and was given time to rest his injury.
But Coleman will leave it up to his skipper to decide if he is fit enough to play some part in either game.
He said: "Michael Laudrup will be looking after Swansea and I fully expect that. I have to look after Wales.
"If there's any chance we can have Ash we will. I'm sure he respects my priority is Wales.
"We won't take risks with players, it's not to our benefit to do that. If there is a chance we will push hard.
"The bottom line will be the player. The player says he can or can't."
Williams was one of three Swansea players — Neil Taylor and Ben Davies are the others — named in the Wales squad.
Gareth Bale was also named, though rapidly withdrawn due to the thigh injury which is set to sideline him for two weeks.
The 24-year-old has made just three appearances for Real Madrid since his world-record move from Tottenham.
And Coleman suggested Wales's star man has not been handled as he should have been after missing nearly all of pre-season with abdominal and foot injuries.
"We have spoken to the doctor and we will be without him, but we said all along it is very tough for him to have had no pre-season and be thrown in at the deep end," said Coleman.
"I would never criticise another manager — Carlo Ancelotti is a brilliant manager — but La Liga football is a different tempo to the Premier League.
"The Premier League is the fastest so maybe Carlo is thinking Gareth can handle it, he's a super athlete.
"But in our last camp he was nowhere near fit. He had a reaction on the morning of the Macedonia game, that is why we only used him for 35 minutes against Serbia last month.
"You have to put things in perspective. What has happened to him with the move, he must feel under pressure.
"He is probably trying too hard to do things that come naturally to him. Physically he is not there, he is not ready and he might not be for some time.
"If you don't do a pre-season, no matter how good you are, you always play catch up for the season. This season might be a tough one for him, as good as he is.
"I think he has gone into it when he is not at his fittest physically or mentally. It has had an affect.
"I hope I am wrong but I don't think it will be the last injury he gets this season because of the stress of everything."
Liverpool midfielder Joe Allen, Celtic's Joe Ledley and Brighton's Andrew Crofts have all been ruled out with injuries.
Wales: Hennessey (Wolves), Myhill (West Brom), Fon Williams (Tranmere), Davies (Swansea), Gabbidon (Crystal Palace), Gunter (Reading), Matthews (Celtic), Ricketts (Wolves), Taylor (Swansea) A Williams (Swansea, capt), Collison (Bournemouth) John (Cardiff), King (Leicester), Ramsey (Arsenal), Vaughan (Sunderland), Bellamy (Cardiff), Church (Charlton), Robson-Kanu (Reading), Vokes (Burnley).