Ashley Williams feels Wales’ clash with Holland was worthwhile despite defeat

Published: Saturday 14th November 2015 by The News Editor

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Skipper Ashley Williams feels Wales continue to carry momentum towards Euro 2016 despite losing at home for the first time in more than two years.

An Arjen Robben-inspired Holland won 3-2 in Cardiff on Friday night as Wales were beaten on home soil for the first time since a World Cup qualifier against Serbia in September 2013.

Bayern Munich star Robben scored twice in the second half to see off their defiant hosts who were without influential injured pair Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey.

“It’s not nice to lose, especially at home, but it was a worthwhile game,” Williams told BBC Wales.

“I said before the game that it was important try and keep our momentum going, not only the result but the manner of our play and performance.

“I think we did that in what was a very difficult game.

“We had a few players out and the gaffer (Chris Coleman) had a chance to look at a few guys.

“Now it’s important we come back in the next friendly in March and carry on where we left off.”

Coleman said he was delighted with several of his fringe players who pushed their case for inclusion in his Euro 2016 squad next summer.

The lively Tom Lawrence occupied a three-man defence with his movement and pace and George Williams and Emyr Huws both made positive impacts after coming off the bench.

Huws, the Wigan midfielder currently on loan at Huddersfield, scored his first international goal with a thumping header to level the score at 2-2 before Robben’s second goal settled matters.

“We learned a lot about some of our guys and I thought we performed very well against a very good team,” Ashley Williams said.

“I was impressed by a lot of the players, especially Tom.

“The guys that don’t get to play that often got a chance to run out and I’m sure they’re very happy with their performance.”

Liverpool midfielder Joe Allen felt twice replying with equalisers showed the resolve within the Wales camp.

“We’re disappointed naturally, but in some ways that shows how far we’ve come,” Allen said.

“We did show character to come back from 1-0 and 2-1 down but we have the type of players who never give up.

“We’ve got that never-say-die attitude and it’s just a shame we didn’t hold onto that draw.

“But Robben’s lethal and he can do that to you, he is a world-class player.”

Wales staff and players were due to be honoured on Saturday at an official Government reception to mark the squad’s achievement in reaching the European Championships.

But the Football Association of Wales and the Welsh Government released a joint statement in the wake of the terrorist attacks in Paris on Friday which left at least 128 people dead.

It read: “A planned First Minister’s reception for the Welsh football team has been postponed today as a mark of respect for those who lost their lives and were injured in the Paris attacks.

“Both the FAW and the Welsh Government stand by the people of France as they come to terms with last night’s terrible events.”

Published: Saturday 14th November 2015 by The News Editor

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