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Robert Page lauds Wales for overcoming logistical ‘nightmare’ to reach last 16

By June 21, 2021No Comments

Robert Page admits Wales have overcome a logistical “nightmare” to reach the knockout stage of Euro 2020.

Wales booked their place in the round of 16 on Sunday despite losing 1-0 to Italy in Rome.

The Dragons finished above Switzerland on goal difference to take second place in Group A and now head to Amsterdam where Denmark, Finland or Russia will be waiting on Saturday.

Robert Page lauds Wales for overcoming logistical ‘nightmare’ to reach last 16 PLZ Soccer
Wales players and staff members celebrate reaching the last 16 of Euro 2020 with a post-match huddle in Rome (Marco Iacobucci/PA)

Wales are among the nations that have travelled the most miles at Euro 2020, having played their opening two games in the Azerbaijani capital Baku before moving on to Rome.

Interim boss Page said: “It’s not been easy because we’ve had to go to Baku and then travel to Italy. Now we’re going to have to go to Amsterdam.

“On paper it sounds like a great idea to have it all round Europe.

“But logistically it is an absolute nightmare – and throw Covid into the mix as well.

Robert Page lauds Wales for overcoming logistical ‘nightmare’ to reach last 16 PLZ Soccer
PA Graphics

“The team we’ve got behind us that people don’t see deserve a lot of credit.

“Covid makes the job harder. But it is what it is and we have to get on with it.

“We’ve got to prepare well to give us the best chance for Saturday.”

Wales have chosen to stay in Rome before finalising their build-up plans for the round of 16.

Robert Page lauds Wales for overcoming logistical ‘nightmare’ to reach last 16 PLZ Soccer
Aaron Ramsey (left) has started Wales’ three games at Euro 2020 despite coming into the tournament with concerns over his fitness (Alberto Lingria/AP)

Page has no injury issues with Juventus midfielder Aaron Ramsey brushing aside pre-tournament concerns over his fitness by starting three games in nine days.

“There have been questions over Aaron’s fitness coming into the camp,” Page said.

“To do what he’s done, that was his third consecutive game (against Italy), is credit to him.

“I don’t think he’s played 90 minutes in a couple of years, but he played on Sunday off the back of two massive performances.”

Robert Page lauds Wales for overcoming logistical ‘nightmare’ to reach last 16 PLZ Soccer
Wales manager Ryan Giggs has been on leave from his position since November (Bradley Collyer/PA)

Page has been in charge since November with manager Ryan Giggs on leave from his position.

Giggs faces court charges of assaulting two women and controlling or coercive behaviour, which the former Manchester United star denies.

The 46-year-old Page was previously Giggs’ assistant and his contribution in difficult circumstances has been hailed by Football Association of Wales president Kieran O’Connor.

“Rob has been superb, the players love him, I have never seen so many players laughing and joking at a training session,” O’Connor told Sky Sports.

“He plans everything and he has a good team behind him as well. They are all experienced pros who know what they are doing.

“We’ve become, both as an association and as a country, a lot slicker in the last 10 years.

“We’re seeing the progression from the under-15s up to the senior squad.

“The further we go in the competition, the more money we make, the more we can invest in grassroots football and the better we develop.

“In terms of how far we can go, the plan is to win it. We’ll go as far as we possibly can.”

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