AS Trenčín experience was advantage says James Lawrence
Wales defender James Lawrence says his position in the side hasn’t been solidified, despite starting ahead of captain Ashley Williams today.
Lawrence who was making his competitive debut for Wales, having played in the friendly defeat to Albania in November and a 30-minute cameo against Trinidad, started alongside AFC Bournemouth defender Christopher Mepham.
Ashley Williams later came on for David Brooks as Wales went defensive. But despite Williams’ lack of game time, there is still a battle for a place in the team, says Lawrence.
“I don’t think that solidifies my place at all.
“Every camp there’s places you have to fight for. The gaffer is going to make a decision one way or another and you’ve got to accept that.
“You can say I’m safe in that position. I’ve come in, I’ve tried my best and I think I’ve done alright.”
The 26-year-old was previously on the books of Slovakian side AS Trenčín.
At Trenčín, he twice won a League and Cup double, before moving to Belgium last summer with Anderlecht.
He spent a total of four years with the Fortuna Liga side, allowing him to get an understanding of today’s opponents.
“There were three or four of them who I had played against or played with,” said Lawrence.
“I knew them quite well which I think was an advantage to me. I knew what kind of players they were.
“It was nice to play on one hand against them, we’ve got the win I’m happy with it.”
Dan James’ sixth-minute strike ensured Wales were off to a winning start in their European Championship Qualifying campaign.
Wales were made to defend in the second half. Goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey was forced into action late on to deny substitute Michal Ďuriš.
Crystal Palace shot-stopper Wayne Hennessey earned praise from his defender Lawrence after keeping a clean sheet.
“Going into the game we thought if we keep a clean sheet we’ve got the players up top that can do damage and hurt them that showed at the end of the day. We played well, especially the first half, we found gaps, we were very dangerous going forward.
“In the second half, it was more up to them to control the game, to take it to us. We didn’t need to take it to them and were dangerous on the counter.
“We’ve got a good solid team, we played well defensively, keeping the clean sheet was really important today. Dan James getting that goal early on gave us a massive lift.”
(Featured Image: Lewis Mitchell)