Gemma Grainger insists Wales are heading in the right direction
Gemma Grainger insists Wales are heading in the right direction, despite conceding 10 goals in the last two Nations League games.
Wales find themselves bottom of Group A3 with no points from three games and reeling from successive 5-1 defeats to Denmark and Germany.
Grainger’s side play Denmark again in Viborg on Tuesday just four days after Germany managed 35 goal attempts against them. Both Denmark and Germany cashed in with late goals to put gloss on their victories.
“I feel like anyone who has watched our games will see we are making progress,” said manager Grainger.
“The way we have played until 80 minutes, the performances in both games have been brilliant.
“Goals have not been conceded because of tiredness, maybe there is concentration element to that.
“The defensive mistakes we made in the last 10 minutes stand us in great stead moving forward because when we qualify for a European Championships we are not going to be playing Germany and Denmark in a play-off.
“The seed one and seed two teams have got a great history in the women’s game and the gap between them and the rest is big.
“The reality is we’re two-and-a-half years into an investment and we’ve taken great steps forward.”
Wales lost their Nations League opener 1-0 away to Iceland in September.
The return game with Iceland in Cardiff on December 1 will probably determine whether Wales remain in the top tier of the Nations League.
Grainger said: “I spoke to the Danish and German coaching staff after the games and they recognise the journey we are on.
“Anyone who knows football and is looking at our performances sees that.
“We can sit in a low block for 90 minutes and maybe concede less shots, but we want to be a team that takes the game to others because we have to win that play-off (to qualify for a major tournament).
“But we’re trying to take steps forwards, and we scored top goals against Denmark and Germany.
“You can look at the scores, but if people see those performances with a little bit of realism you know this is a process that is going to take a long time.”
Wales have been dealt a double injury blow with Leicester forward Hannah Cain and Liverpool midfielder Ceri Holland returning to their clubs for treatment.
Cain played 89 minutes against Germany despite appearing to jar her knee in the first half, while Holland – who scored Wales’ goal at the end of a fine team move – left the ground on crutches after picking up a calf injury.
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