Robert Page doesn’t like the prospect of finishing Wales for the World Cup

Published by
Peter Kavinsky

Wales manager Robert Page admits he is “dreading” selecting his team for the World Cup because of competition for places.

Page’s team play their final games ahead of the World Cup this week, with the Nations League program ending with games away from Belgium and at home against Poland.

The injured quartet Aaron Ramsey, Ben Davies, Harry Wilson and Joe Allen miss those games, but if physical condition allows, they will certainly make the 26-man roster for Wales in Qatar.

“I’m already dreading (selecting) the 26 for the World Cup because we have so many great players in the group of 30 or 32 and more,” Page said ahead of the penultimate Nations League game in Brussels.

“You just have to be honest with the players. You will not please everyone. That’s the hard part of the job. We have a big group.

“They know it won’t be anything personal when I have to make these decisions, but it’s hard to keep them all happy.”

Page bolstered his squad this week by calling up teen midfielders Luke Harris and Jordan James for the first time.

Harris, who just turned 17 in April, has an impressive goalscoring record for Fulham teams and made his first-team debut for the Cottagers last month.

Hereford-born James, 18, impressed for Birmingham in the Sky Bet Championship and returned to the Wales squad after playing for the England under-20 squad in March.

Wales face a tough battle to avoid relegation from the first division of the League of Nations.

Late goals conceded against Poland and the Netherlands twice in June left them with just one point from four games.

But even if they lose to Belgium, with whom they drew 1-1 in Cardiff three months ago, beating Poland on Sunday could be enough to guarantee their survival in the top flight.

For that to happen, however, Poland would have to lose at home to the Dutch on Thursday.

Page said: “(the relegation) will not be a disaster, we would recover. We always look at the first two games. There are points we could have picked up there, I firmly believe in that.

“But the bigger picture is that because of that, we had to change our narrative a little bit. We gave these youngsters experience and played against top teams and used that to our advantage.

“We gave ourselves a fighting chance to stay in the division, and our full focus is on that.”

Peter Kavinsky

Peter Kavinsky is the Executive Editor at cablefreetv.org

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