22 May 2024

We’ll give it everything for World Cup place – Rob Page

22 May 2024

Wales boss Rob Page intends to “give everything” to qualify for the World Cup and repay the faith of those backing him.

The Football Association of Wales quickly announced it would be sticking by Page as manager after the heartbreaking failure to reach Euro 2024.

A Wales side in transition after the retirement of Gareth Bale agonisingly missed out on a place in this summer’s tournament in Germany after a penalty shoot-out loss to Poland in March.

The pain of that play-off defeat still stings for Page but he is grateful for the support and wants to make amends when it comes to the next big tournament.

“It was a hard one to take,” Page told the PA news agency. “We were a penalty kick away from qualifying for another Euros. It was a bitter pill to swallow.

“We were all disappointed, nobody more so than myself, that we didn’t get there.

“But it was nice of the president and the FAW to come out and back me the next day.

“I signed a four-year contract before the (2022) World Cup because we knew this wasn’t going to be a quick fix.

“It was a cruel way to go out but the message to the players afterwards was we’re going in the right direction.

“We’re there or thereabouts, but we need to start introducing a few more of these young players and the backing and the four-year contract that I’ve got give me time now to do that.

“It’s on to the next ones – a successful Nations League come September and then the World Cup, and we’ll be giving it everything to qualify.”

Page intends to start to freshen up his squad for next month’s friendlies against Gibraltar and Slovakia.

He said: “I’ll introduce some new faces. I think it’s a perfect opportunity to give some of the younger players some minutes and caps and have a look at them ready then for September to hit the ground running.”

Page was speaking at a grassroots coaching event in Manchester organised by digital bank Chase and the four Home Nations Football Associations.

Chase and the football associations are seeking to support aspiring coaches from low-income backgrounds by funding 2,900 introductory coaching qualifications and 85 professional coaching bursaries across England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales.

Page said: “We need more coaches and we need to make it affordable, available to them.

“Some of the best coaches in world football never played at professional level, so there are other coaches out there that just need that first opportunity to get on the first rung of the ladder.”

:: For further information on the initiative: https://www.chase.co.uk/gb/en/chase-football-coaching-programme/

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