Ryan Giggs: 'I'm most proud they got the clean sheet after putting their bodies on the line for 90 minutes'Wed, Oct 17 2018
Brendan Graham reports from the Aviva Stadium
Three points and from a hard-fought Nations League away victory ensure that Wales end the international break sitting pretty at the top of the league.
Even more impressive is the fact that tonight’s result was achieved without their key men, Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey.
Ryan Giggs will be more than satisfied with how the international break has gone for his team with a clean sheet for Wayne Hennessy the highlight of the night for the boss.
“It’s not easy when we are missing such high quality players,” the former Manchester United winger told reporters at full time.
“Tonight was the perfect chance for other players involved in the squad to come in and prove that we aren’t overly reliant on the two boys. They did that tonight and so impressively too.
“I’m most proud that they got the clean sheet after really putting their bodies on the line over the 90 minutes.”
Giggs has shown in the short time he has been in the role that, if he feels it is the right thing to do, he will show full faith in his younger players and empower them to do what he knows they are capable of once they step out onto the pitch.
On Tuesday night it was no different with youngsters like Harry Wilson and David Brooks once again repaying the confidence shown in them with impressive performances in the centre of the field.
As well as noting once again his satisfaction with how well the younger players are stepping up the task so far at international level, Giggs was also quick to stress the importance of maintaining the right balance in the squad.
He highlighted the sometimes easily overlooked importance of the solid contribution of the more seasoned professionals within the squad, notably Ashley Williams.
“We have a really good balance in the squad at the moment and the experienced players are just as important as the younger players, which we have plenty of as well.
“Ashley Williams for one was absolutely outstanding, man of the match for me, he put in a real captains performance.
“[He] showed everyone that the older experienced players are just as important as our younger players now with such a standout performance throughout the game tonight.
“I was helped and empowered a huge amount when I was starting out as a youngster and I have no qualms whatsoever about age. If the players are good enough they will play..
“The important part after that is to maintain that performance to ensure they stay in the team once they make the breakthrough.”