Giggs & Bale hail Wales' blend of youth and experience after winning start to Euro 2020 qualification

Comments()
Getty Images
The Manchester United icon admits his side "rode their luck" at times in a 1-0 win over Slovakia, but believes a positive result will breed confidence

Ryan Giggs hailed the blend of youth and experience that helped Wales earn a 1-0 win over Slovakia in the opening game of their European 2020 qualifier. 

Daniel James' goal after five minutes at Cardiff City Stadium proved to be decisive and the 21-year-old winger was the stand-out player throughout an afternoon on which Wales were worthy winners against Pavel Hapal's men.

While Gareth Bale was a closely marked man, James thrived on the space afforded to him and fellow youngsters David Brooks and Harry Wilson, who were also impressive. 

Giggs was satisfied after seeing his faith in his young players repaid, while the likes of Bale, Joe Allen and substitute Ashley Williams helped were on hand to add a little extra know-how.

"There were so many outstanding performances and we dug in at the end to get that clean sheet," Giggs told Sky Sports.

"In the first half we showed real composure. We rode our luck a little bit in the second half and I thought we could have scored a few more in the first but some of the play was fantastic, paired with great determination.

"We have got a great group of older players and younger players. We have got a lot of talent in the squad too so we will always create chances.

"It wasn't easy at the end but Ashley Williams came on to see us home and give us that experience."

Gareth Bale Wales 2018

Bale said Giggs' young charges have bought into the ethos that helped Wales reach Euro 2016, and underlined the importance of staying strong in defence.

"Everyone put in a shift," said the Real Madrid forward. "That's what we're used to now, the minimum requirement is you give 100 per cent.

Article continues below

"All the lads showed that – even the younger ones who weren't in the last campaigns.

"Even before the Euros and in the Euros, we built on a good solid defence and the whole team works hard together in units and we know we're always going to nick a goal. Today it was Dan and it was a great strike.

"It's what we needed. In the second half we came under a lot of pressure but we started the game well, got the early goal, and when we shut up shop we know how to do it."

Close