Soccer Danny Ward: Wales boss Page backs keeper to ‘bounce back’ after Czech error TV Channel
|Venue: A. Le Coq Arena, Talinn Date: Monday, 11 October Kick-off: 19:45 BST|
|Coverage: Live commentary on BBC Radio 5 Live, Radio Wales and Radio Cymru, plus live text and score updates on the BBC Sport website and app. Highlights on Match of the Day Wales on BBC One Wales from 23:25 BST.|
Wales boss Robert Page backs goalkeeper Danny Ward to “bounce back” after his calamitous, if uncharacteristic, error in Friday’s World Cup qualifying draw against the Czech Republic.
Ward failed to control Aaron Ramsey’s backpass and allowed it to roll into the net to give the Czechs a 2-1 lead.
But Daniel James equalised for Wales, whose fans sang Ward’s name after the final whistle in a show of support.
“I thought it was a really nice touch from the supporters,” said Page.
“The lads are rallying around him and, knowing him as a character, he’ll bounce back.
“Danny’s been excellent since he’s been involved. That happens unfortunately. We know him as a person, he’s strong minded, and he’ll come back from that, no problems at all.”
The mistake was particularly unfortunate for Ward because he has played consistently well for Wales since replacing Wayne Hennessey as the first-choice goalkeeper.
Leicester City’s Ward showed his appreciation to Wales’ supporters after the final whistle in Prague by walking over to their section of the stadium to applaud the ‘Red Wall’.
Wales captain Ramsey told Sky Sports: “Danny has been terrific for us.
“These things happen from time to time, but I’m sure there is nothing to be worried about. We’re glad he’s in goal for us.”
Wales responded well to falling behind as they controlled the remainder of the second half and missed several chances to score the winning goal their pressure had warranted.
The draw keeps Wales third in Group E, trailing the Czech Republic on goal difference, but with a game in hand.
With Belgium’s eight-point lead at the top making automatic qualification effectively impossible, Wales’ battle with the Czech Republic for second spot – and passage to the play-offs – looks set to go down to the wire.
Wales are already all but guaranteed a play-off place thanks to their success in the Nations League, but finishing second in this World Cup qualifying group could secure a more favourable draw in that knockout stage.
“We’re disappointed that we didn’t get the win. I thought we thoroughly controlled the game and created some good chances,” said Page.
“We’re frustrated because we should have six points from the last two games instead of two.
“But second spot is still on. We’ve got three games left, the Czech Republic have got two. It’s in our hands.”