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Matty Jones accepts different challenge for unbeaten Wales Under-21s at home

15 Nov 2023 2 minute read
Wales U21 manager Matty Jones. Wales. Photo Nick Potts/PA Wire.

Wales Under-21 boss Matty Jones accepts different challenges face his unbeaten side on home soil in their bid for European Championship qualification.

The young Dragons are second in their Euro 2025 qualifying group after an unbeaten three-game start on the road – impressive draws with Denmark and the Czech Republic and a 3-2 win in Lithuania.

Wales host group leaders Iceland on Thursday and Denmark next Tuesday, with both games being played at Newport’s Rodney Parade.

“We’ve played against higher-ranked teams,” Jones said of an intriguing campaign that has seen Iceland get off to a flier with wins over the Czech Republic and Lithuania.

“It’s been challenging and it’s been difficult, but it’s allowed us to showcase our robustness defensively and resilience in our approach.

“Our counter-attacking ability has got us goals and results, but it slightly changes when you’re at home.

“The responsibility is on us to be creative and take the game to Iceland and Denmark. Challenges await and I’m sure the players will be prepared for it.”

Wales are strengthened by the return of Reading midfielder Charlie Savage and Wycombe defender Josh Low.

The pair made senior debuts in the 4-0 friendly victory over Gibraltar last month, two days before the 1-1 draw in the Czech Republic when Cardiff’s Cian Ashford scored a spectacular stoppage-time equaliser.

Fulham attacking midfielder Luke Harris and Dundee’s on-loan Liverpool defender Owen Beck were also part of Rob Page’s senior squad against Gibraltar.

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