Posted on March 28, 2007
Wales captain Ryan Giggs has promised fans they will see John Tohack”s team to respond to Saturday’s disappointing Euro 2008 qualifying defeat at Dublin’s Croke Park with a convincing victory over San Marino tonight.
“We were hurt by the Ireland result and the performance,” said Giggs.
“The only way to rectify that is to produce a positive performance on Wednesday. We’re expected to win and to win well, and we will do that.
“San Marino have become a better team over the years, but still, we should be beating these teams.”
The first-half performance produced by Wales against the Republic of Ireland was abysmal, and it was in that period that they conceded the goal by Stephen Ireland that clinched the match.
Giggs himself was well below his Manchester United best, but said it was not a case of the team turning it “off and on” when they felt like it, as critics have suggested.
He said: “You have got to try to play well all the time because that breeds confidence.
“Anyone who knows the characters of the individuals concerned within the team, knows what was said is not right.”
After the 1-0 defeat by the Republic, Wales are seven points below the qualifying places in Group D. They’ve won just one of their first four games.
Yet Giggs, who will earn his 62nd Wales cap at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium tonight, still thinks the Principality can qualify for the finals in Austria and Switzerland next year.
“Qualification is not over,” he said. “We have San Marino twice, a lot of home games and the Czechs here [in Cardiff] in June.
“If we can get nine points going into next season then we are still in with a chance.”
The United veteran – he recently passed the landmark of 700 games for the Red Devils – is not considering retiring from the international scene.
Even if this Euro campaign comes to another dead end, Giggs made is targeting the 2010 World Cup qualifiers, which begin in September 2008.
He said: “It did not even go through my head that I should step away from the situation now, not for one second.
“I’ve always said that I will be involved as long as I am enjoying it. And that means the 2010 World Cup campaign.
“I still enjoy the challenge of producing my form for Wales. As long as my fitness is good, I’m injury free, I will carry on.
“At the moment it will need someone to tell me I should stop, it won’t be something I will suggest.
“As for switching from United to Wales, I wouldn’t say I find it awkward, but it is different stepping into the Wales set-up.
“You go from having the majority of the ball, week-in-week-out, to play in games when you are not going to get as much of the ball.
“When you do get it you have to be more effective and use it wisely.
“It’s different, but it’s a responsibility I have had ever since I came into the team, because that is what is expected of me and what I expect of myself.
“There are players here who are fighting relegation, but you have to forget about the last game for your club, I do, when you come away with Wales.”