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Hayley Ladd Points Wales Towards Euros Boost In Wrexham

Wales midfielder Hayley Ladd has insisted the team can use tonight’s friendly at home to Estonia as a stepping stone towards qualification for the Euro 2021 finals.

There may be no points at stake at Wrexham’s Racecourse Ground, but Ladd believes the game will form part of the squad’s vital preparations for the crunch qualifiers against the Faroe Island and Norway.

The Manchester United player – who left Birmingham City for United last summer – said: “We’ve got a brilliant squad of players who are playing at some of the biggest clubs in the world.

“We’ve got great talent and great camaraderie, and really a strong team ethic. We know we can do well. We just need to get our preparation right and our performances right, and we know we can get there.”

Wales are four points behind leaders Norway after being held to a draw for the second time in the group by Northern Ireland in their last qualifier.

Jayne Ludlow’s side welcome Norway on 14 April four days after facing the Faroe Islands.

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The nine group winners and the three runners-up with the best record against the sides first, third, fourth and fifth in their sections will join hosts England in the final tournament.

The other six runners-up will play off in October 2020 for the remaining three berths in the 16-team finals to be held the following summer.

Ludlow has named a mix of youth and experience in her squad for the Estonia match, although midfielder Jess Fishlock will remain in the United States to continue her rehabilitation from a long-term injury.

Wales captain Sophie Ingle joined up with the squad, buoyed by playing her part in her club Chelsea’s 2-1 win over Arsenal in the Women’s League Cup final.

“We will be coming up against an organised side,” said Ludlow.

“That sort of challenge will be very important to us as we prepare for the remaining games in this campaign. For us, there’s a lot of work we need to do to prepare for us for those last qualifying games, and this type of camp allows us to mix things up.”

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