Ryan Giggs stresses importance of Wales win over Slovakia
Wales manager Ryan Giggs said a win over Slovakia today was a must after results in the previous round of fixtures.
Giggs’ side earned a hard-fought victory over Slovakia in their opening qualifying fixture after Slovakia had begun their campaign with a win.
Dan James scored in the opening ten minutes to provide Wales with a perfect start.
No more goals came from Wales as they had to withstand a flurry of Slovakian attacks in the second half.
“You play it down before the game, but when Croatia and Slovakia have got off to a winning start, it makes it nice for us to do the same,
“It is job done and we are delighted to get a winning start, especially with the pressure on.
“At the end, we had to work for it, but overall I am delighted with the result.
“You try and not make too much of it, but we didn’t want to go into the two away games in June with no points or one point.”
Dan James who was making his first competitive start for Wales after playing in the friendly defeat to Albania was impressed with the performance of the Swans winger.
The 21-year-old was linked with a move to Leeds United but remained in South Wales after a deadline day move fell through.
This season, James has played 24 times for his club side Swansea, scoring twice and picking up four assists.
“Dan has taken his club football into international football because he’s been on fire.
“I was delighted he scored the goal, he was a constant threat and in the first half, we will have given the defenders nightmares because of his speed and his directness.”
One of the big decisions today was Giggs decision to drop captain Ashley Williams.
Williams hasn’t solidified his spot in the Stoke City team this season, despite a loan move from Premier League side Everton.
Giggs confirmed that Williams is still captain, despite not starting.
The former Manchester United winger said: “No, Ash is still the captain. You’re never going to take it well.
“He didn’t sulk. You don’t want players to take it well. You’ve seen what he brought when he came on – the leadership qualities.”
(Featured Image: Lewis Mitchell)