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

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By Dafydd Pritchard
BBC Sport Wales at Cardiff City Stadium
Manager Ryan Giggs criticised Wales’ performance because they overcome Azerbaijan, but had been relieved to assert an”important” 2-1 win.
Gareth Bale header stored Wales from an embarrassing draw against competitors ranked 109th in the entire world.
That kept alive his hopes of qualifying for Euro 2020, at Cardiff City Stadium on Friday despite having a bad screen.
“There are positives, but also things I was frustrated with,” said Giggs.
“It was significant. We mentioned before it turned out to be a must-win match and we won it.”
Wales took a first-half direct when Pavlo Pashayev was hit by a Bale shot that was deflected and wrapped in for an own aim.
Mahir Emreli equalised for Azerbaijan before Wales captain Bale led in with just more than five minutes to perform, from the 58th minute.
“I wasn’t satisfied with the first half,” Giggs said. “We didn’t play well, did not adhere to the game plan. Too many errors, a lot of players off kind.
“I was not happy at half-time since I understood 1-0 would not be great enough. We had to evaluate that aim.
“I am delighted with the 3 points, thrilled with the personality we have shown because it’s not easy at all. We constantly work hard.”
Back-to-back defeats in June against Hungary and Croatia – the first time Wales had lost consecutive qualifiers for decades – had abandoned Giggs’ side for the remainder of this campaign.
Friday’s victory lifted Wales up to next in Group E – level on six points using Slovakia. Croatia’s thumping win against Slovakia saw leaders are joined by the World Cup finalists Hungary on nine factors.
Their operation against Azerbaijan’s unimpressive nature was a reason for concern, although wales stay in contention to qualify.
“First half that I wasn’t happy because I believed there were goals there if we stuck into the game plan, when we moved the ball quickly and were individual, forced Azerbaijan run. We didn’t,” Giggs additional.
“We’re too hasty to get to the target, in too much of a hurry to play those forward passes.
“Azerbaijan are good at what they do, so it is the exact same result they had in Croatia. They might have scored two or even three in Croatia enjoying the exact identical way.
“It is not straightforward. I have been like this in games. You’re never sure whether to stick or twist, to play that danger ball or maybe not but you need to have that assurance. There were not enough players in good form from the first halfof the
“Joe Rodon excellent for his first cap – wow, what a performance. Tom Lawrence worked quite hard and Jonny Williams when he arrived on made a difference.
“There were lots of advantages but I ask of gamers is they play with their skill and there weren’t enough that did tonight.”

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