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Watch: The interview that shows Rob Page knows time is almost up

10 Jun 2024 3 minute read
Rob Page speaks to BBC Wales’ Dafydd Pritchard (CRedit: BBC Wales)

David Owens

If Rob Page thought things were going to get easier for him after the debacle of drawing with Gibraltar – a team ranked 203rd in the world, then sadly he was mistaken.

By fielding a stronger, more experienced side against Slovakia he may have presumed Wales would have turned in a more assured performance.

Sadly, as the final whistle blew after a 4-0 thrashing, Page faced the ire of the thousand travelling fans in Trnava.

The boos and cries of ‘Page out’ rained down on him, like a heavy downpour.

It takes a lot for the most mild-mannered of football fans that constitute the Red Wall to turn on one of their own, but by now they knew there was no turning back.

The Football Association of Wales motto of ‘Together Stronger’ has never felt more fragile, or wildly inappropriate.

In the stadium, as at home and on social media, there was anger, frustration and wholesale calls for the manager to resign.

When a shell-shocked Rob Page faced the press for his post-match interviews it was evident the thought that this could have been his final game in charge of the national side must have already crossed his mind.

Speaking to BBC Wales football correspondent Dafydd Pritchard, he said: “I clapped them with the players and when the players walked, I made a point of going over to the supporters and saying ‘it’s on me’. I get the frustration.

“They [fans] want me out. I completely understand. I’ve got to stay true to myself and focused on the job in hand. Everything else is out of my control,”, after the 4-0 loss.

When asked about the boos and how they made him feel, Page answered:

“[I feel] low, disappointed, of course. I’m human at the end of the day and nobody wants to fail. The form coming in to it has been alright but when you draw with a Gibraltar team and you get beat with the goals we did tonight then questions will be asked.”

The under-fire boss said it was “up to the powers that be” to decide if he stays in the job.

Page saw his side taken apart against Slovakia, a team buoyed by the fact that, unlike Wales, they will be competing in Euro 2024 which begins this weekend in Germany.

The pressure has steadily grown on the manager after Wales’ embarrassing performance at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar when they finished bottom of their group and their abject failure to qualify for this summer’s European Championship.

With the chorus of disapproval now deafening it is inconceivable to believe that anything other than bringing Page’s tenure to an end is the FAW’s next move.

To not do so would almost certainly result in something resembling anarchy such is the strength of feeling.

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1 minute ago

He’s a decent bloke, but his time is surely up. You can’t have a team permanently “in transition”. Time to bring in Osian Roberts.

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