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Ryan Giggs Admits “Soft” Wales Are Hoping Kieffer Moore Still Can Toe The Line

By Paul Jones

Ryan Giggs has described Wales’ defending as “soft” as he reflected on the lessons from the 3-0 friendly defeat to England at Wembley.

What was meant to be a valuable warm-up for the key Nations League games over the next few days became an exercise in keeping the score down in the second-half against a superior England side.

That dominance was only established after Wales had controlled the opening 25 minutes until Dominic Calvert-Lewin put England ahead.

By the end, Wales were relying on the experience and craft of goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey to keep the scoreline respectable.

Wales manager Giggs – who also now has an injury worry over striker Kieffer Moore – admitted: “If you switch off or give bad goals away you are going to get punished.

“The first goal was disappointing because it was soft, then two goals from set-pieces after that, we normally do really well but we just went to sleep on them.”

Giggs confirmed Moore was forced off in the first half with a toe injury which could yet rule the striker out of Sunday’s game with the Republic of Ireland.

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But he offered better news on Aaron Ramsey, who missed the game at Wembley after two positive Covid tests at club side Juventus, with the former Arsenal man set to return at the weekend.

“Aaron is fine,” added Giggs. “He is going to meet us in Dublin, that is fine. He has trained all week in Turin so everything is good there.”

Giggs also rested a number of his key players as he keeps them fresh for both Nations League games – the other is way in Bulgaria – but he was pleased with a number of things he saw from his young side.

“There were a lot of good things,” he said.

“We started the game really well, the pressing was good and we were confident on the ball which you have to be against a quality team.

“Then, we learned that, if you switch off or give bad goals away, you’re going to get punished. Against lesser teams, you might get away with it. Against the good teams with quality, you’re not going to get away with it.

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“I thought Kieffer was a handful tonight, a real threat. The game changed with the goal, and when Kieffer went off, we lost that target.

“Also on set pieces, where we conceded two bad goals, he’s a big part of that, defending set pieces. So it’s a blow, but we’ve got other options as well.”

Calvert-Lewin continued his fine start to the season by breaking the deadlock on his debut before Conor Coady and Danny Ings bagged their first England goals to seal the win.

England manager Gareth Southgate said: “When you have the shirt or a place in the squad you don’t want to allow other people to have the opportunity to take it and whenever we give debuts or give time on the pitch to guys, it’s those who deserve it.

“There is opportunity there for them to grab a place and push themselves up the pecking order. Several did that and there is competition for places, not just the squad we named but players just outside that.”


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