Wales captaincy has boosted my confidence, says Ashley Williams

The Swansea centre-back expresses his delight at being given the opportunity to lead his nation on the field after Aaron Ramsey was dropped by manager Chris Coleman

Ashley Williams has hailed his new role as Wales captain as a "great honour" and says that the decision has given him a confidence boost ahead of the clash against Scotland.

The 28-year-old excelled last season under Brendan Rodgers as Swansea City impressed in their debut Premier League season, although the former Stockport defender has admitted to finding the new campaign tougher.

And, after Wales manager Chris Coleman took the decision to replace Aaron Ramsey when Wales were crushed 6-1 by Serbia, the Swans man is happy to have been given a timely boost in confidence. 

"I'm pleased to get the captaincy. It's obviously a great honour and once I meet up with Wales I'll speak more to the gaffer and know a bit more about what he wants from me," Williams told the South Wales Evening Post.

14/1 Ashley Williams is 14/1 with Bet365 to score anytime in Wales v Scotland

"It's a nice little boost for me at a time when things haven't been going well.

"I've captained the team before so it's no great change. The boys know me and I know them so we'll go into a massive week and the most important thing, irrespective of who the captain is, is a win — especially in that first game."

Williams is sure that Ramsey bears no grudge towards him after taking his role as captain and has played down suggestions of tense relations between the pair.

He added: "I haven't spoken to Aaron yet but I'll speak to him at the camp.

"I know people will talk about it and look into it, but I get on with Aaron well and I'm sure it's going to be okay. We'll just get on with it and we won't probably even speak about the captaincy. It will just be a normal camp."

"The Scotland game is must-win for us. If we get two positive results in the next two games we'll still be involved in the group"
- Ashley Williams

Williams is keen to get up and running in his first game as permanent captain, with a clash against Scotland promising to be a tight affair as the Dragons look to improve their qualifying prospects.

"The Scotland game is must-win for us," the defender declared. "If we get two positive results in the next two games we'll still be involved in the group as no-one is really going to run away with it.

"I think the Scotland game takes care of itself and you'll see a better performance from us this time."

Wales welcome Craig Levein's side to the Cardiff City Stadium on Friday with Coleman looking to secure his first victory after losing their opening Group A games to Belgium and Serbia, before travelling to Croatia on Tuesday evening.