Ryan Giggs: ‘Too many Wales players were off form’, but manager relieved by win

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From Dafydd Pritchard
BBC Sport Wales at Cardiff City Stadium
Manager Ryan Giggs criticised Wales’ performance as they overcome Azerbaijan, but had been relieved to claim an”important” 2-1 triumph.
Gareth Bale’s late header stored Wales from a humiliating draw against opponents ranked 109th in the whole world.
That kept alive their hopes of qualifying for Euro 2020, even though having a bad display.
“There are positives, but also things I was dissatisfied with,” said Giggs.
“It was significant. We mentioned before it turned out to be a must-win game and we won it.”
Wales took a lead when a Bale shooter rolled in for an own aim and struck Pavlo Pashayev.
Mahir Emreli equalised at the 58th minute for Azerbaijan, before Wales captain Bale headed in with just over five minutes to perform.
“I wasn’t pleased with the first half,” Giggs said. “We didn’t play well, didn’t stick to the game plan. Too many mistakes, too many players off form.
“I was not pleased at half-time since I understood 1-0 wouldn’t be great enough. We needed to evaluate that aim.
“I am delighted with the three points, delighted with the personality we have shown because it’s hard at all. We always work hard.”
Back-to-back defeats against Croatia and Hungary – the first time Wales had dropped qualifiers for decades – had left precious little room for error to Giggs’ side for the remainder of this campaign.
Friday’s victory lifted Wales around third in Group E – degree on six points using fourth-placed Slovakia. The thumping of croatia win against Slovakia saw leaders are joined by the World Cup finalists Hungary on nine things.
Wales stay in contention to qualify, but the operation against Azerbaijan’s character has been a reason for concern.
“First half I was not happy because I believed there were goals there if we stuck to the game plan, when we moved the ball immediately and were patient, forced Azerbaijan run. We did not,” Giggs additional.
“We were too hasty to reach the goal, in too much of a hurry to perform those forward passes.
“Azerbaijan are great at what they do, it’s the same result they’d in Croatia. They could have scored three or even two in Croatia playing with exactly the identical way.
“It’s not simple. I have been in games. Youto perform with that risk ball’re never sure whether to stick or twist or not but you need to have that assurance. There were players in good form from the first half.
“Joe Rodon excellent for his initial cap – wow, what a performance. Also Tom Lawrence worked extremely hard and when he arrived on, Jonny Williams made a huge difference.
“There were a lot of advantages but all I ask of gamers is they play with their skill and there were not enough who did tonight.”

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