Malky Mackay: 'No chance of Craig Bellamy retirement'

Wales' Craig Bellamy battles for the ball with Scotland's Grant Hanley during the World Cup qualifiying match on March 22, 2013
© Nick Potts / PA Photos
Cardiff manager Malky Mackay says that Craig Bellamy is not thinking about retirement and will be crucial to his side in their first Premier League season.

Cardiff City manager Malky Mackay believes that Craig Bellamy has no thoughts of retirement and will be a huge influence as his team embarks on their first season in the Premier League.

Bellamy will retire from international football after Wales's final World Cup qualifier against Belgium, and his manager feels that this will prolong his club career for several years.

"Craig is a huge influence, a senior player who has been there, seen it, done it," he told WalesOnline.

"He has a hunger and wants to play for his home club. Any thought of retirement is a few years off yet. He's nowhere near that.

"Opting to retire mean he can prolong his club career. That's more so from the travelling aspect of it and the extra games that are in a short space of time between league games."

The Welsh club won promotion to the top flight last season and Mackay believes that the 34-year-old striker's experience will be crucial to his team's chances of staying up.

"He is always learning as well and at same time he has experience to pass on in Premier League," he added.

"Craig has a hunger. His big driving force in coming to Cardiff the first time was to try and get his home team into Premier League football."

Cardiff begin their Premier League campaign away to West Ham United on August 17.

Craig Bellamy celebrates his goal against Blackburn on December 7, 2012
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