Ben Davies says Wales ‘more than confident’ ahead of Euro 2024 play-off

Sign up to Miguel Delaney’s Reading the Game newsletter sent straight to your inbox for free

Sign up to Miguel’s Delaney’s free weekly newsletter

Ben Davies believes Wales reaching Euro 2024 would be “better in some ways” than previous successful qualifying campaigns.

Davies is among a handful of survivors from the Chris Coleman squad that reached the semi-finals of Euro 2016 in France.

The 30-year-old Tottenham defender was also part of Wales teams that qualified for Euro 2020 and the 2022 World Cup.

Wales are now hoping to reach a fourth major tournament out of five this summer but must do so without former talismanic captain Gareth Bale, who retired just before Euro 2024 qualification began.

“It would be just as good as (reaching) the others, better in some ways,” said Davies ahead of Thursday’s play-off semi-final against Finland in Cardiff.

“It’s different times. We don’t have Gareth Bale this time. That’s a big loss for Wales, our greatest ever player.

“But that doesn’t mean there’s a different feeling within the camp. We are more than confident with the squad we’ve got.

We don’t have Gareth Bale this time… but that doesn’t mean there’s a different feeling within the camp. We are more than confident with the squad we’ve got

Ben Davies

“We are all here to play for Wales and to do a job for our country and qualify for major tournaments.

“Boys have been there before and boys who have been there at the top of their game. It’s still as motivating now as it was.

“We have been in this situation before, must-win games. We are on the brink.”

The winners of the Cardiff City Stadium tie will progress to a home play-off final against Estonia or Poland on Tuesday.

Skipper Aaron Ramsey is expected to be among the Wales substitutes following knee and calf injuries that have prevented him from starting a game since September 16.

But Wales are boosted by the fact that most of Rob Page’s squad have been playing regularly for their clubs.

“When people play regularly it’s beneficial for us, it definitely helps,” said Davies, who will wear the armband against Finland.

“We have a lot of quality and competition for places among the forwards.

“I think a lot of the players are getting recognition at club level, but it’s nothing we haven’t seen before.”

Davies’ Tottenham team-mate Brennan Johnson is among those pushing for a starting spot after scoring three goals in his last seven Spurs appearances.

“He is playing at a big club in big games,” said Davies. “He is pulling out results, scoring goals and getting assists.

“He offers a lot of pace, he is very direct and has a knack for being in the right place at the right time.

“He has taken it in his stride, and we will see a better and better player coming.

“If he can bring that quality into a Welsh shirt for us we will be very happy.”

Podobne wpisy

Dodaj komentarz

Twój adres e-mail nie zostanie opublikowany. Wymagane pola są oznaczone *