Wales on the right path under Ryan Giggs, says James Chester

Phil Blanche 10/09/2018
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James Chester feels the future is positive for Wales.

James Chester insists Wales are on the right path under Ryan Giggs despite their Denmark setback.

Christian Eriksen‘s brace condemned Wales to a 2-0 UEFA Nations League defeat in Aarhus after the euphoria of a scintillating display against the Republic of Ireland three days earlier.

Wales’ youngsters discovered the harsh realities of international football as Eriksen and company administered the first competitive defeat of Giggs’ reign.

“We’ve got a new manager trying to implement his ideas on a young squad and it’s going to take a little time to get it spot on,” Chester said.

“But you could see on Thursday (against the Republic) that we’re heading in the right direction.

“It’s slightly different to the way we played before under Chris Coleman.

“We’re pressing when the opponents are in possession and when we do lose the ball we look to win it back as quickly as possible.

“It’s really effective when we get it right and you saw that when Denmark had to put it out of play a couple of times. But get it wrong and it can be difficult for you as well.”

Giggs has freshened up the Wales squad since being appointed in January.

Chris Mepham, Connor Roberts and David Brooks have all been given opportunities in the last two games, but Chelsea teenager Ethan Ampadu is the player who has got Welsh football really excited.

Ethan Ampadu (c) is exciting Welsh fans.

Ethan Ampadu (c) is exciting Welsh fans.

The 17-year-old delivered a man-of-the-match performance against the Republic and looked composed once more in Denmark, even if he gave away a penalty when he was harshly adjudged to have handled in the area.

“When I was his age I was sat in digs,” Chester said.

“To be playing central midfield at international level at his age is some feat, and if he carries on like he’s going then he’s going to have a top career.

“He’s probably the best 17-year-old I’ve seen and, when you see some of the lads coming through, it’s an exciting time for Welsh football.

“It’s good for the older lads to have competition and the standard in training is high.

“The youngsters want to learn, and that’s beneficial for everyone.”

Aston Villa captain Chester returned at the heart of the Wales defence against Denmark after veteran skipper Ashley Williams was rested.

“The manager spoke to me on Tuesday about his reasons why I wasn’t playing in the first game and I was more than happy with those,” he said.

“But it was nice to play here. International football is a big commitment with the amount of games I have at my club.

“To come away and not play at all would have been disappointing.

“I want to finish my career with as many caps as possible and hopefully I play more than I don’t.”

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