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Gemma Grainger ‘not worried’ about Wales’ lack of goals ahead of Denmark test

25 Sep 2023 3 minute read
Wales head coach Gemma Grainger on the touchline. Photo Simon Galloway PA Images

Wales boss Gemma Grainger insists her side will cure their scoring problems and the goals will flow during their Women’s Nations League campaign.

Wales welcome Denmark to Cardiff on Tuesday on the back of an opening 1-0 League A defeat in Iceland.

Grainger’s team dominated possession and had a superior number of goal attempts in Reykjavík on Friday, but Wales drew another blank and have now only scored more than one goal in a game once in their last 13 outings – April’s 4-1 friendly win over Northern Ireland.

“I’m not worried at all,” Grainger said when asked if she was concerned about her team lacking a clinical edge.

“When you create chances against higher ranked opposition, that’s the aim to start with.

“You’re not going to create 10, 15, 20 chances against the best teams. We had eight against Iceland and I’d be more worried if we weren’t creating them.

“We’ve got incredible attacking players and if they keep making those runs, they’ll get chances and finish them.”

Top scorer

Elise Hughes is the top scorer in the FA Women’s Championship with six goals in four games.

But the Crystal Palace striker was only sent on as an 89th-minute substitute in Iceland, and Grainger appeared to play down the 22-year-old’s chances of starting against Denmark at her pre-match press conference.

She said: “I’m not surprised Elise is scoring these goals for her club.

“We are working with Elise and her club to help her score more goals, and ultimately she will get her chance at international level.

“But there is obviously a difference between the Championship and international football, and what we want to do is plan and track the development of our players and expose them at right moments to start for the team.”

Denmark reached the knockout stages at the Women’s World Cup last month before losing 2-0 to co-hosts Australia at the round of 16 stage.

Grainger attended that game in Sydney and accepts Wales are facing a “great team” with Denmark buoyed by Friday’s opening 2-0 Nations League win over top seeds Germany.

“One of the reasons I went out to the World Cup was to watch Denmark and Germany,” said Grainger.

“I also looked at the Denmark-Germany game and the goals that were scored. They were controversial in terms of one of them being maybe offside and maybe one of them being a foul.

“You see the score 2-0, but when you watch the game and look at the details both teams played well and Germany could have won that game 2-0.

“But Denmark are a great team, one of the best in the world as well as Europe.

“Their quality is without doubt. We played them a couple of years ago here (a 1-1 friendly draw in April 2021) and we know who their better players and world-class players are.

“But it’s how we set up and how we nullify those strengths and exploit their weaknesses.”

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