How have Wales turned their fortunes around?

“Keeping a clean sheet and nicking a goal has been good for us of late,”

“Keeping a clean sheet and nicking a goal has been good for us of late,” said Bale. “You can always nick a win by getting one goal. We are happy with that — 1-0 is good enough and three points are all we can ask for.”

The late winners have further underlined the sense of togetherness within the Wales camp. Covid protocols have made it harder to socialise as normal in recent months, yet they enjoyed a comedy night this week and the spirit is strong.

“We have a good group here,” said Bale. “We have a laugh and it is always fun to be on camp. That is why we get positive results, as everybody is comfortable with each other.”

Young players growing up fast

From the moment Giggs took over in 2018, he has shown faith in youth. There is an exciting generation of young players coming through, and these last few years have allowed the likes of Brooks, Daniel James and Ethan Ampadu to adapt to international football and grow accustomed to the demands of playing for their country. Ampadu, for example, has already won 19 caps for Wales despite only turning 20 in September.

The delay of the European Championships has given these young players another year to develop and grow, meaning they will be more experienced and prepared when the tournament finally begins next summer.

Players such as Davies, Bale and Chris Gunter are experienced operators and they are leading by example. “We are trying to help the youngsters along and make sure standards don’t drop,” said Bale.

Bale approaching full fitness

Liberated by his move from Real Madrid to Tottenham, Bale is enjoying his club football again and is finally working his way back to full fitness. He remains the game-changer for Wales and there will always be hope of success if he is available to play.

“It’s nice to be back playing, nice to be at a place where I’m wanted and I feel loved,” he said. “I feel like I’m in a good place. There’s still more to come and I’m looking forward to it.”

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