Football: Soccer-Page sees winnable games for Wales in World Cup group

CARDIFF (Reuters) – It has been 62 years since Wales final appeared in the World Cup finals however their interim supervisor Rob Page believes his facet could make an actual affect in Qatar and progress from their group.

Wales beat Ukraine 1-0 in their qualification playoff ultimate on Sunday and can now play in Group B together with the United States, Iran and neighbours England in the match which begins on November 21.

“We have played against the USA. We know they are a really strong outfit. We played against their European-based players, in my first game,” Page told BBC Wales, referring to a 0-0 friendly in November, 2020.

“They [and Iran] are winnable games and when you play against a home nations team, anything can happen,” he added.

“We will go out there with the confidence we have had going into any game. We will go toe to toe with anybody –- bring it on. That’s the attitude we have got in that changing room.”

Although the final time Wales featured in the World Cup finals was in 1958, the present squad have gained big-tournament expertise by way of the final two European Championship campaigns.

Under supervisor Chris Coleman in 2016, Wales upset Belgium in the quarter-finals earlier than being halted by Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal.

Last yr, in the delayed Euro 2020 match, Wales certified from a tough group, forward of Turkey and Switzerland, earlier than they had been crushed 4-0 by Denmark in the spherical of 16.

Those campaigns have energised the fan base in a rustic the place rugby union has lengthy been considered because the nationwide sport and Page believes it’s not solely the spectacular communal singing of supporters that now matches the oval-ball recreation.

“Growing up in the valleys it was all about rugby. We had Cardiff City and Swansea City in the previous fourth division and rugby was most likely the primary sport. The tides have turned barely now,” he stated.

“It is due to what the boys are doing and success drives that. When you might be successful it helps for folks to take discover. Football has most likely overtaken rugby in the intervening time because the primary sport in Wales,” added Page, who has been in cost of the group since Ryan Giggs stood down from the place whereas dealing with allegations of assault.

Page gave credit score to former supervisor Gary Speed for laying the foundations for the upturn in fortunes for the nationwide facet earlier than his dying in 2011.

“Gary Speed began it 12-13 years in the past and I need to dedicate this win and qualification to him and his household. There was a change in the tides and we created a tradition and identification of how we needed to play and it began then,” he stated.

(Reporting by Simon Evans, modifying by Clare Fallon)

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