Robert Page: Manager hails Wales character before must-win Poland game

- BBC News

Robert Page: Manager hails Wales character before must-win Poland game

Wales manager Robert Page praised his sides character after a battling 2-1 defeat in Belgium set up a must-win game against Poland on Sunday.

Belgium dominated Thursdays match in Brussels but only led 2-0 at half-time after missing a host of chances.

Wales almost pulled off an unlikely comeback and now need to beat Poland in Cardiff to keep their place in the top tier of the Nations League.

"This is the game we want to win on Sunday. Its a final," said Page.

"Theres been lessons learnt here to take into the World Cup. I said to them in the changing room, weve asked for this.

"By qualifying for the World Cup, were asking to compete against nations like Belgium, like Holland, and weve been in the games right up until the end. It speaks volumes about that group of players.

"Its the character of the players - theyll never give up. Weve proved it time and time again against world-class opposition.

"Tactically, of course were going to have to make tweaks and changes. Theyre the number two seed in the world, by the way. Weve come away from home, its 2-1 at the death and were still creating chances.

"Theres too many positives - Im not going to be negative. Its one game now. If weve come from June to now where weve qualified for the World Cup and stayed in the division [Nations League A] then thats a massive achievement for those players."

This is Wales first campaign at the highest level of the Nations League, having won their group in the second tier last time out.

Thursdays defeat against Belgium kept Wales bottom of their group with four defeats from five but earlier results were not helped by Page having to field largely second-string sides in June as he prepared for what would turn out to be a historic World Cup play-off victory over Ukraine.

He was forced to rely on his fringe players again in Brussels. Wales were overwhelmed in the first half against Belgium, severely weakened by the absence of injured first-team players such as Ben Davies, Aaron Ramsey, Joe Allen and Harry Wilson.

Captain Gareth Bale only appeared as a second-half substitute, with Page managing the 33-year-olds workload given his limited game-time with Los Angeles FC this season.

However, Page hinted the former Real Madrid forward could start against Poland.

"The plan was always to play him as few minutes as we possibly could [against Belgium] with one eye on Sunday," he said.

"Weve just got to recover the lads. Therell be some changes made and well go and put a team out to win the game."

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