Wales boss Rob Page believes they can still qualify for Euro 2024 despite a devastating 2-0 loss to Turkey. Wales lost 2-0 to Armenia in Samsun after a disastrous performance against Armenia on Friday, when opponents from the 97th-ranked team in the world won 4-2 in Cardiff. Wales is two points behind Armenia, which has a game in hand, and five points behind Turkey at the halfway stage of their eight-game season. Croatia, the group’s favorite, is tied with Wales in points despite having played two fewer games. Because of their Nations League standings, Wales is virtually surely assured a playoff position, but boss Page is adamant that they can win one of the two available automatic qualifying slots in Group D.
“Yes, I firmly believe that. If we want to succeed, we need to execute it flawlessly on both ends of the spectrum,” Wales boss Rob Page said. “Although the camp was challenging, there were a lot of things to learn from it. We’ll talk about it. Every game we play, we aim to win. Simply put, that implies it’s crucial for us to win at home and accrue as many points as possible.”
When midfielder Joe Morrell fouled Ferdi Kadioglu with his studs in the 41st minute and was sent out, Wales was faced with an uphill battle. Following Kieffer Moore’s dismissal against Armenia, Wales have received two red cards in as many games. After Aaron Ramsey handled Kadioglu’s cross, Danny Ward saved Hakan Calhanoglu’s penalty in the 64th minute. In the closing 18 minutes, though, goals from Umut Nayir and Arda Guler proved that Turkey’s pressure had paid off.
“You are aware that Turkey is a difficult test whenever you visit. Having said that, prior to the red card, I believed we were on par with them and I was extremely happy with the defensive effort, which we certainly improved upon in response to Friday’s outcome,” he added. “I thought we were courageous to play through them after getting Aaron and others in excellent positions up the pitch with the ball. When we watched the video, we concluded that this was a weakness we could exploit, and it was effective right up to the send-off. totally alters the game. I felt like we were defending our box extremely effectively up until the 70th minute; nevertheless, one cross into our own box cost us the first goal. Morrell is not doing it on purpose. Although he is focused on the ball, putting your foot so high puts you at danger of receiving a red card.”
Robert Page’s grasp on automatic qualification for Germany is fading. Wales has now won just one of their past 12 games across all competitions after suffering back-to-back losses this June, and they have dropped four of their previous five away games. The problems that ultimately cost Wales 2-0 on Monday against Turkey have been building for a few years, and the Welsh FA must now determine if Page is the appropriate person to discover the solutions. After coming off the bench, Umut Nayir and Arda Güler both scored their first goals for Turkey, although Page had very little room to maneuver following Joe Morrell’s relatively severe expulsion.
After Kieffer Moore was dismissed against Armenia, Wales has now had a player dismissed in back-to-back games. It could not have come at a more difficult moment for Page given the anticipated period of change after, among other things, Gareth Bale’s retirement, who was once more unable to cover up the defensive vulnerability shown by the squad rated No. 97 in the world last Friday. Brennan Johnson was substituted for Ben Cabango because he had to switch to a low block of five. It served as a warning to its rivals that their highest goal was a draw. Despite Danny Ward’s heroics in the penalty shootout and Harry Wilson’s free-kick, the eventual punishment seemed inevitable.
“Because Armenia had defeated Latvia to put pressure on them, this game became a must-win. To be completely honest, I didn’t see Wales’ response. The disturbing aspect is that. They have a lot to learn from it. This is a terrible camp in Wales,” Rob Earnshaw said. “Changes were made when I joined the team to replace Gary Speeds and Chris Colemans because we wanted to improve. The fact that our game is so similar and we’re being penalised for it makes it difficult for me to identify where we’re improving at the moment.”
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