Ryan Giggs: 'It's a great chance for players to come in and put in a good performance'

Mon, Oct 15 2018

Roy Keane and Ryan Giggs picture ahead of the recent Liam Millar testimonial Credit: Michael P Ryan

Andrew Dempsey reports from the Aviva Stadium

Wales manager Ryan Giggs has called on his young stars to stand up and be counted in the absence of Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey during Tuesday night’s Aviva Stadium showdown. 

This will be the second game in succession that Ryan Giggs’ star man Gareth Bale will be out of contention as the Welsh face a wounded Irish side looking for revenge after the Cardiff clash in September.  

“It’s a great chance for players to come in and put in a good performance,” siad Giggs speaking to the assembled media prior to his sides game against the Republic of Ireland.

“We’ve seen the likes of Connor Roberts come into the team and do well and stay in the team. It gives some of the younger players an opportunity with some of the more experienced ones missing. 

“He (Bale) did a bit of work with us. He went back yesterday, and I expect him to be fit for this weekend. It wasn’t much but fatigue and obviously we’ve got to be careful. He’s a big player and you’re running the risk of it being a bigger issue, so I didn’t want to risk it. He just wasn’t right.

“If it was a cup final potentially he could’ve played but he hadn’t really done any work with us. The plan was to leave it as late as possible and see what happens.” 

Also missing the UEFA Nations League clash in Dublin  is Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey due to family reasons. Giggs said that his plans for the Tuesday night clash were unaffected by the recent birth of Ramsey’s twins. 

“We’d planned for that really. He’s done little to no training since Thursday after the game.” 

Spain beat Wales 4-1 in a friendly last week. Famed for their possession orientated style of play, Wales were unable to cope with the swift passing game imposed on proceedings by Luis Enrique’s side. 

Martin O’Neill’s Republic of Ireland are more famed for their ‘primitive’ approach as Denmark’s Thomas Delaney put it recently and the former Manchester United wing wizard is well aware of the challenges that face his inexperienced side come kick-off.  

“It was a brilliant performance by Spain. It was always going to be difficult for us. We had one eye on this game, looking to keep players fresh but you can’t deny the performance Spain put on. It was outstanding but as we said after the game it was the basics that we didn’t do right.

“It will be a test for us,” siad Giggs about the match in Dublin. “It’s a difficult place to come to. We watched the game on Saturday night and you’ve got to win your battles. We have to earn the right to play. I’m looking forward to seeing how a couple of the younger players react. 

“We’ve already played them, and we played really well. We’re going to have to play to that standard once again. Martin’s a brilliant manager, he’s proved that over the years and we’ll expect a test.” 

A win will put Wales firmly in the driving seat to top this group while a defeat could send the Dragons bottom of the pile for the time being, in what is a great example of the unpredictability in this three-team group. 

Giggs, well aware of this, noted that he is hoping that his side can put themselves in as good a place as possible with a win over Ireland to top the group with a crunch clash to come against Denmark in November.  

“If we win the game, we go top of the group and we’ve got an excellent chance of doing so (winning the group). That was our aim from the beginning, but I think that just shows the positivity of the UEFA Nations League and how tight these groups are. 

“It makes things competitive because all the teams in the group are equal. It’s very tight but yes, if we win tomorrow we know that it is in our hands to go on and top the group and that’s all you can ask for.”