Rob Page makes his excuses as Wales ready themselves for a March play off
Saturday, 18th Nov 2023 21:34 by Swansea Independent
Despite the draw in Armenia this afternoon Rob Page remains positive and says ‘ If it’s a play off in March, then it’s a play off in March’
Talking after his sides disappointing performance in Yerevan, Wales head coach Rob Page had his excuses lined up as Wales now have to beat already qualified Türkiye on Tuesday night and hope Croatia lose to Armenia on the same night.
The Group D table doesn’t lie, in fact it tells many truths when it comes to Wales failings.
The qualifying play-off draw will take place on 23rd November 2023 at the UEFA headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland. It will follow the path formation rules to determine the paths in which the non-group winners will participate if required. Three separate draws determining the host of the play-off final of each path will also take place between the winners of the semi-final pairings. The semi-finals will take place on 21st March 2024, while the final matches will take place five days later on 26 March 2024.
That’s about where we are at despite Page’s post match representations.
"We got off to the worst possible start, conceding a goal after four minutes," he said when assessing the contest. "We knew they were going to come out the traps fast. I'm disappointed with that. I thought we grew in the first half. I thought we scored at the perfect time. But the break came at a bad time for us because I thought we were growing in momentum. Having said that with the two 10s we had on the pitch in David Brooks and Harry Wilson. We didn't find them enough as well as they did. They had opportunities to get their tens on the pitch and cause more of a threat. We're all disappointed. But we threw everything at it towards the end. I think we got into some OK positions. Whether it was that final pass or that final ball or final detail at the end, it wasn't quite right for us at the end for whatever reason”
At no point did Wales or Page throw ‘everything’ at the game, their second half display was abysmal. It lacked effort and creativity and despite a desire to tell the Welsh public how hard they tried, it wasn’t evident.
Page went on. "Unfortunately it's now out of our control. A win here tonight and we would have been all buzzing for the game on Tuesday. It's not materialised as we would have liked, but that's life. We have to get on with it. It's about building momentum now. If it's a play-off in March, it's a play-off in March. For now we can only control what we can do. It's about getting these players into a right frame of mind. Physically, mentally, and ready to go again on Tuesday. going to be a tough game. They showed their intent in June. We had a game plan. When you've got players like Harry Wilson and David Brooks on the back of a wonderful performance against Croatia, we wanted to do that again and we just couldn't get them on the ball. We knew the space on the sides was an area that was more for Brennan and DJ ( Dan James )so the first opportunity we had in the second half we brought Brennan on. But again it was that final pass, or run that wasn't quite there for us."
Many are now questioning the ability of Page to lead this talented squad on the back of a very poor year of results, including the World Cup.
Photographs licensed from Reuters
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