Ryan Giggs: 'Ireland were the better team against Slovakia and got no luck'



Ryan Giggs, Manager of Wales looks on during a Wales Training Session at the Vale Resort on October 07, 2020 in Cardiff, Wales.

Ryan Giggs expect Wales to put the painful lessons of Wembley into Nations League practice against Ireland in tomorrow’s clash at the Aviva.

Beaten 3-0 by England, the Welsh are seeking to build on their wins over Finland and Bulgaria last month which took them to the top of Nations League Group B4 – five points clear of Ireland.

“I was really happy with the way we started against England,” Giggs said.

“We showed confidence on the ball and the pressing was good, but you can’t give away soft goals.

“The players will learn. You don’t have much time to work on it but we’ve evaluated it and have to make sure we are right and better.”

Giggs plans to make changes to his side. 

Centre-back Chris Mepham, who had a difficult night against in-form Everton forward Dominic Calvert-Lewin, is a doubt after suffering a late knock at Wembley.

Giggs said Tottenham target Joe Rodon is “in my mind to start” and he may be paired with Swansea team-mate Ben Cabango at the heart of the Wales defence, although Ethan Ampadu – whose father, Kwame, is from Dublin – could revert to the back four after playing in midfield on Thursday.

Ireland are also licking their wounds after Thursday’s Euro 2020 penalty shoot-out defeat to Slovakia, but Giggs said: “They played well in Bratislava and were unlucky to lose.

“I thought they were the better team, with lots of energy and not giving you time on the ball.

“I expect the same and our concentration will have to be at its best, and when we get chances we need to take them.

“Our concentration has to be good and the squad has to be used. Three points is going to be tough, but if we do get them it will put us in a good position in the group.”

Juventus midfielder Aaron Ramsey has joined the squad after missing the England match and is set to start a Wales game for only the second time in nearly two years.

Ramsey was part of Juventus’ Covid-19 bubble following an outbreak at the Turin club, but Giggs must wait on Mepham and striker Kieffer Moore, as well as conceding that David Brooks and Daniel James are “not 100 per cent match fit”. Gareth Bale is another absentee.

“Aaron’s trained all week with Juve, he’s fit to play and in good shape,” Giggs said. “He brings that experience first and foremost – we have a young squad – and he brings that something different that can unlock defences.

“They (Moore and Mepham) are struggling a little bit and it was a short turnaround.

“Kieffer had a problem with his toe and, towards the end, Chris has taken a knock to his knee.

“We’re just going to give them as much time as possible. We won’t take any risks but we’re keen for them both to be involved.”

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