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Dan’s The Man For Wales . . . As Ryan Giggs Backs Daniel James To Keep Red Hot Form

Daniel James can carry his brilliant early season Manchester United form into Wales duty on Friday evening, according to his manager Ryan Giggs.

James has hit the ground running at Old Trafford since moving for what now looks an under-valued £15m from Swansea City earlier this summer.

The 21-year-old winger has already scored three times for United and given the fallen giants exactly the kind of youthful dynamism they were desperate he might provide.

Now, his country is hoping James can deliver the same back on the international stage and enable Wales gain a vital victory at home to Azerbaijan in their Euro 2020 qualifier.

Giggs believes the emergence of James can ease the pressure on Wales’ record scorer Gareth Bale, who will captain the hosts, and said: “The pressure is always on Gareth, but I want to bring that off him because we can’t rely on him in every game.

“We’ve got other talented players in the squad.

“Dan has got off to a great start with his Manchester United career, but he’s also been brilliant for us in the last few games, especially in the summer under difficult circumstances.

“When you score, it gives you a lift. It doesn’t matter who you are in the world or what kind of ability you have. Confidence is everything and it builds.

“We all know what he’s ­capable of, what he’s done, especially over the last eight or nine months, he just keeps getting better and better.

“He’s at the right club, Ole (Gunnar Solskjaer) will know how to look after him and know when to play him.

“It’s a club where they love wingers and players who can excite fans.

“I’m pleased for him and he’s got the right character.

“He’s at the right club with ­regard to keeping his feet on the ground.”

Giggs insists the likes of James and Liverpool loanee Harry Wilson can revive the country’s qualification hopes following back-to-back defeats to Hungary and Croatia which has left Wales back in fourth place in their group.

James has four Wales caps but will be hoping to push on and evolve into one of their most influential players in the coming years, while Wilson has made 11 appearances.

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“They’re playing and they’re in good form, both are scoring,” Giggs said of the duo. “I think they’re both looking forward to being involved in the game.

Although once again without the injured Aaron Ramsey, Giggs added: “With two defeats, you’re up against it, but it is still early.

“If we have aspirations to ­qualify, we need to win all our home games. We have tough games ahead.

“We won our first game at home and have a great record here. Our fantastic support makes a difference. We will be relying on the fans, but we have to get the fans going as well.

“Azerbaijan can make it ­difficult away from home, they have scored in every game.

“And we have to be wary of the counter-attacking threat ­that they can pose.

“With two defeats you are up against it, but it’s still early in the group and there are plenty of points to play for,” Giggs said.

“We have got tough games ahead and we are under a little bit of pressure, but I think every time you play for your country you are under pressure.

“If we have got aspirations to qualify we need to win our home games.”


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