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Any Which Way For Jayne Ludlow As Wales Seek Euro Recovery In Belarus

Jayne Ludlow insists she will be happy with a narrow victory in Belarus this evening as Wales bid to get their Euro 2021 qualifying campaign back on track.

The Wales manager will be hoping for a positive result to make up for the points dropped in the recent 2-2 home draw with Northern Ireland.

Belarus were thumped 7-1 by powerful Group C leaders Norway in their last match, but Ludlow says any kind of win in Borisov will be mission accomplished.

“It will be a tough game, as any national team game is when you travel away from home,” said Ludlow.

“They’re a developing team. We’ve analysed them really well, they’re a hard-working team who have certain strengths that we have to be aware of.

“Whenever we step on the pitch as a national team, we hope for three points and 1-0 is enough. The main thing we focus on is clean sheets, because if we do that, then we have a chance of winning.”

Ludlow was disappointed with the way in which her team conceded late on their draw at Newport against the Northern Irish, but is realistic enough to know that if Wales do finally make it to a tournament finals they will have overcome some bumps on the road along the way.

“For us to expect those players to produce every time they put a shirt on for Wales, and perform phenomenally, is unrealistic,” added Ludlow.

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“We do everything prep-wise to make sure that they are in the best place they can be, but sometimes people make mistakes, the wrong decisions at the wrong times.

“Good teams will score goals against you, so we have to learn quickly from the mistakes we made in the last game.

“But we’ve played two games, nobody’s beaten us yet, so we’re looking forward to going into the next game and picking up three points, hopefully.”

Wales are without injured captain and centre-back Sophie Ingle, so experienced striker Natasha Harding will wear the armband.

“It would be a blow for any team to lose their captain and some who has played as many games as Sophie has,” said Ludlow.

“But when you play regular games as Sophie does now at Chelsea, then you will pick up injuries. For us, it is a case of adapting.”

Wales squad: Laura O’Sullivan (Cardiff City Ladies), Claire Skinner (Cardiff City Ladies), Hayley Ladd (Manchester United Women), Loren Dykes (Bristol City Women), Gemma Evans (Bristol City Women), Rhiannon Roberts (Liverpool FC Women), Charlie Estcourt (Charlton Athletic Women – on loan from Reading FC Women), Anna Filbey (Tottenham Hotspur Women), Angharad James (Reading FC Women), Elise Hughes (Everton Ladies), Rachel Rowe (Reading FC Women), Natasha Harding (Reading FC Women), Emma Jones(Lewes FC Women), Megan Wynne (Tottenham Hotspur Women), Helen Ward (Watford FC Ladies), Kayleigh Green (Brighton & Hove Albion Women), Josie Green (Tottenham Hotspur Women), Nadia Lawrence (Cardiff City Ladies), Georgia Walters (Tranmere Rovers), Grace Horrell (Cardiff City Ladies).


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