Wales focused on task in hand, not the opposition says Jayne Ludlow

(Image: Will Cheshire)

Wales manager Jayne Ludlow says all focus will be on what her own team needs to achieve when they line-up against England tomorrow.

It comes after England boss Phil Neville said that Wales may treat the game as a ‘grudge match’, considering the local proximity and rivalry of the two teams.

The two will battle out in a winner take all World Cup qualifying match, however, England do have a second chance, if they don’t obtain victory at Rodney Parade tomorrow.

Ludlow said: “It’s an interesting one for us. We focus on ourselves, that’ll be the last thing I want my players thinking tomorrow.”

England are currently ranked as the 4th highest ranked team in the World and had been ranked second in March. In their last World Cup, they finished third and were semi-finalists in last years European Championships.

The Lionesses had already qualified for the tournament in their last World Cup qualifying campaign, finishing on 30 points, eight ahead of nearest placed Ukraine. Wales finished third on nineteen points.

If you look at past campaigns for this group. They would have qualified by now,” said the Wales manager.

We sit here and we respect the group they have. They have a different type of challenge to us.

They haven’t achieved in many ways what has been expected of them.”

Newport, Wales. 30th August, 2018. Wales Women’s manager Jayne Ludlow is joined by Natasha Harding & Sophie Inglefaces the media ahead of the FIFA Women’s World Cup qualifier against England at Rodney Parade. Lewis Mitchell/YCPD.

Wales have already secured their highest ever finish in a Qualifying campaign. They are still yet to concede a goal, having played all seven games, with Laura O’Sullivan’s goal still guarded.

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One of those games was a goalless draw with England, played at Southampton’s St Marys, where Jayne Ludlows side put in a heroic performance, dealing with the most prolific side in Group One.

“When you look back at the last game. If we had goal line technology we would have had three points.

We’re extremely happy with our performances throughout the campaign.”

Wales began their campaign with long trips to Kazakhstan and Russia, securing a 1-0 victory over the Kazakhs and a goalless draw in Saint Petersburg.

Their final three games of World Cup Qualifying will all have been at home, with victories over Bosnia & Herzegovina and Russia at the Liberty Stadium and Newport Stadium in June.

For us it’s great, there’s more bonding time and we’re together.

Away games are great in that aspect, the home games are we all want to play for.

The fact we’ve had a run of these games now and have worked out well for us.”

(Featured Image: Will Cheshire)

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