Ramsey determined to regain form

p8754Sport-7-1

Published: Monday 17th November 2014 by The News Editor

Comments (0)

Aaron Ramsey promises he will soon be back to his best after being part of Wales’ brave Brussels shut-out.

Ramsey was restored to the Wales midfield against Belgium on Sunday after injury and he believes standing up to the World Cup quarter-finalists in a goalless draw at the King Baudouin Stadium will provide further momentum in the country’s push for Euro 2016 qualification.

The 23-year-old has been criticised for his performances this season with his Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger telling him to “keep his priorities right” and former Gunners striker Charlie Nicholas accusing him of being focused on “Hollywood football” in pursuing selfish interests in front of goal.

But Ramsey, who was named Arsenal’s player of the season last term after scoring 16 goals, including the FA Cup final winner against Hull, said: “I’m not worried. I know my qualities.

“I’ve had a few injuries this season and I’m just getting back.

“To be honest, I’m still not 100 per cent physically there and it does take a bit out of me.

“It will take me a few more games to be back to my best and I’m not worried. Certain criticism from people is unfair.”

Wales lost top spot in Group B on Sunday night following Israel’s 3-0 victory over Bosnia-Herzegovina in Haifa.

But they remain unbeaten in the section with eight points from four games and Ramsey believes Chris Coleman’s side passed their biggest test by holding star-studded opposition ranked fourth in the world.

“It keeps the momentum going and gives us another bit of belief,” Ramsey said.

“It wasn’t a great game when we had the ball but it was a brilliant performance defensively from us.

“We will go to Israel now full of confidence and hopefully be more dangerous with the ball.

“Hopefully it will be a more comfortable game for us.”

Wales will resume their Euro campaign away to Israel at the end of March where the stakes will be huge for both sides.

Israel have made an unblemished start to the group with wins over Cyprus, Andorra and Bosnia but it is difficult to imagine Wales being placed under the same sort of pressure in Haifa as they were in Brussels at times.

“That was one of the two toughest games we are going to play away from home. Bosnia is also not going to be an easy game,” Ramsey said.

“We have passed one test and we have a few more games now in between where we can get some more wins and keep the points tally going up.

“We were under pressure for large periods of the game but we stuck together, defended well and put our bodies on the line.

“And that is something we have improved on dramatically in this campaign.

“We are very hard to beat and to score against and we are going in the right direction.

“We would have taken a draw before the game and it’s a good point for us.

“We are second in the group but we would have snapped anyone’s hand off if we were offered that before the championship began.”

Ramsey praised manager Coleman for his role in a dramatic Welsh revival which has seen them lose only one of their last nine matches.

Coleman took the captaincy off Ramsey and gave the armband to Ashley Williams when he succeeded the late Gary Speed, but the Arsenal midfielder says the manager has built on the work of his predecessor.

“Chris has done really well,” Ramsey said.

“It was always difficult to come in after Gary Speed – whoever the manager was.

“To be fair to the gaffer, he was brave to take on the job and now he has had his own input as well as building what Gary first started off.

“He’s done really well and you can see everyone is right behind him. We all want to go in the right direction.”

The Wales players celebrated their point against group favourites Belgium at the end of the game by going over to the section housing the visiting supporters and throwing their shirts into the crowd.

Nearly 2,500 Wales fans had tickets for the game but it was estimated that almost double that number had made the trip to Brussels without tickets.

“We felt like that we needed them to get us over the line and we showed them our appreciation for getting us that point in the end,” Ramsey said.

“Everybody is behind us and the fans have come over in numbers this week.

“They stuck with us all through the game even when we weren’t playing great and we’ve got a very important point.”

Published: Monday 17th November 2014 by The News Editor

Comments (0)

Local business search