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Harry Wilson backs Wales boss Rob Page after ‘noise from the outside’ about his future

16 Oct 2023 3 minute read
Wales manager Rob Page (centre) applauds the fans after the final whistle against Croatia. Photo Nick Potts/PA Wire.

Wales hero Harry Wilson has backed manager Rob Page and says he has the full support of his players while taking an apparent swipe at the Association’s chief executive Noel Mooney.

Page’s position came under the spotlight before Wales’ stunning 2-1 home win over Croatia in Euro 2024 qualifying on Sunday.

Mooney revealed that Page’s future will be reviewed next month should Wales fail in their bid to qualify automatically for next summer’s tournament.

Captain Ben Davies said on the eve of the Croatia game that Mooney’s comments were “not helpful”, a point picked up on by Wilson after the Fulham forward had scored twice to lift Wales into the second automatic qualifying spot in Group D.

“We’re 100 per cent behind the manager,” Wilson told S4C after Wales’ win over the world’s sixth-ranked team.

“We know there’s been a lot of noise from the outside and some comments that weren’t helpful for us in our preparation from people we didn’t really expect the comments to come from to be honest.”

Wilson marked his 50th Wales appearance with a first brace for his country, a deft chip over Croatia goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic and a glancing header from Daniel James’ cross taking his goal tally to eight.

It came 10 years to the day since Wilson made his debut against Belgium to become Wales’ youngest-ever player at the age of 16 years and 207 days.

Big night

Wilson said: “It was a big night for me personally, representing my country 50 times is something I couldn’t have dreamed of. I’m super proud of that.

“But it wasn’t about me, it was about the team and putting on the performance we all wanted.”

Wales’ victory over the 2022 World Cup semi-finalists puts automatic qualification for the European Championship in their own hands going into the final two group games.

They meet Armenia in Yerevan on November 18 before hosting group leaders Turkey in Cardiff three days later.

Turkey’s 4-0 win over Latvia on Sunday secured qualification for next summer’s showpiece in Germany.

Wales will join them by winning their final two games, even if Croatia do likewise against Latvia and Armenia next month.

Teams are ranked according to their head-to-head performance if level on points.

Wales drew 1-1 away to Croatia in March and took four points from them – and would actually top the group by winning their final two games.

Wilson said: “We watched their game on Thursday night (Croatia lost 1-0 at home to Turkey) and the result went against us. So we knew we had to produce something special and thankfully we’ve done that.”

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