Dan's The Man For Wales

Ryan Giggs Hails ‘Amazing’ Dan James After He Fires Wales To Victory

Ryan Giggs has hailed Daniel James after the Wales flier fired a stunning winner in the 1-0 friendly victory over Belarus.

The 21-year-old maintained his spectacular start to the season having urged his manager not to rest him.

James’ strike was his fourth in sixth games for Manchester United and Wales whose Euro2020 hopes were also boosted by results in the group.

Wales boss Giggs said: “It was a difficult one with Dan whether to rest him, but he wanted to play.

“When you are in form like his, players just want to play and keep scoring. He gets fans off their feet. Every time he gets the ball the fans are looking for him to do something.

“I think early on when I saw DJ, just like any young winger, there can be that improvement with the final ball and scoring more goals and he’s doing that.

“To do what he’s done at the start of the season is amazing. The next step is showing that consistency and he needs to carry it on, but I’ve got no doubts that will happen because he wants to be the best, he’s a great character and a great trainer. He wanted to play tonight.

Gareth Bale missed great chance for his 33rd goal for Wales.

“I’m really pleased for him. He’s one of those players where you know what he’s going to do but you can’t stop it.”

James has been in fine goal scoring form for his club following his £15million move to United in the summer.

And the ex-Swansea City flier produced another stunning finish to give Wales the first-half lead with a curling strike from the edge of the area after Jonny Williams’ run.

James was a constant threat down the left flank before he was replaced by Gareth Bale five minutes after the break.

Bale missed a glorious chance to add to his record tally of 32 goals for his country when he side footed over.

Harry Wilson also smashed against the post though only 7,666 were at the Cardiff City Stadium for the friendly.

At least they saw a better display by Giggs’ side compared to the victory over Azerbaijan last Friday when Gareth Bale netted the late winner.

Jonny Williams impressed in Wales midfield

But that result was put into perspective with bottom club Azerbaijan holding Group E rivals Croatia to a 1-1 draw while Slovakia won 2-1 in Hungary.

World Cup finalists Croatia lead the group on 10 points while Slovakia and Hungary have nine each – three more than Wales who have a game in hand.

Giggs added: ”I don’t think they’re the worst results in the world. It was a difficult one with Hungary v Slovakia.

“We definitely didn’t want a Hungary win because they would have gone to 12 points. It’s not too bad.

“But we’ve got to focus on ourselves. It’s still in our hands if we win every game. It’s a big ask because you’ve seen how tightly contested it is.

“It’s all about what team turns up on the day or on the night. You never know what the result is going to be, home or away in this group.

“We just need to look after ourselves. This year we’ve had four home wins so now we need to pick up points away from home too.”

Wigan striker Kieffer Moore and Bristol City midfielder Joe Morrell, who is on loan at Lincoln, were handed their debuts by Giggs.

Williams impressed in midfield along with Morrell and skipper for the night Allen.

Wales (4-2-3-1): Ward; Roberts, Mepham (Lockyer 77), Rodon, Davies (Gunter 90); Allen, Morrell, Wilson (Vaulks 89), Williams, James (Bale 50), Moore 6 (Vokes).

Belarus (4-4-2): Plotnikov 6; Zolotov 6 Booked, Volkov 6, Politevich 6, Polyakov 6; Kovalev 5 (Ebong 45, 6), Yablonski 6 (Maevski 45, 6), Baga 6 (Dragun 70, 6), Skavysh 6 (Pechenin 77,); Bakhar 6 (Klimovich 85), Signevich 6 (Stasevich 70, 6)


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