Wales show unity with ‘special’ win over Croatia

In the immediate aftermath of a famous victory in Euro 2024 qualifying, Wales fully highlighted their unity.

Players and staff gathered in a huddle as captain Ben Davies delivered a passionate speech following his side’s memorable 2-1 triumph over Croatia.

Asked what was said by Davies, midfielder David Brooks responded: “Exactly what we were all thinking.

“That it’s back in our hands,” added the 26 year-old, after his first Wales start since recovering from cancer.

“Obviously with the performance we showed against world-class opposition who have done very well in tournaments, if we can be compact and if we’re right at it, then we can beat anyone.”

Written off by many before facing the 2018 World Cup finalists and 2022 World Cup semi-finalists, Wales can now qualify automatically for next summer’s finals in Germany with wins against Armenia and Turkey in November.

“We’re not scared of playing anyone,” said Brooks, who was on the bench for Wales’ defeats against those two nations in June.

“We had a small dip in form in the summer camp to take it out of our hands and if we have a good camp next time, we’re through.”

Fulham’s Harry Wilson – winning his 50th cap – scored both goals to secure a win over Zlatko Dalic’s Croatia side in front of a cacophonous Cardiff City Stadium crowd, the cheers of the Red Wall drowning out the pre-match ‘noise’ around the future of Wales manager Robert Page.

Page felt the victory was the best of his tenure and Kieffer Moore could not hide his delight at what he described as one of the best results of his Wales career.

“It’s right up there,” said the 37-cap striker.

“Talk about big-pressure scenarios, to a man and every staff member, everyone has put so much into this.

“You could see us at the end, fighting for everything.

“I think we showed big character, resilience and how together we are.”

Wales would have won more comfortably were it not for several fine saves by Croatian goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic, while at the other of the field Danny Ward had a far quieter, but memorable, evening.

“It’s special,” said Wales goalkeeper Ward.

“Especially after a few questions following the summer games.

“To bounce back in September was a good foundation leading into this camp and we’ve shown people what we’re capable of doing.

“It’s a fantastic night.”

Page’s future had dominated the build-up to the Croatia game, following reports the Football Association of Wales (FAW) was already targeting potential successors.

Before the match captain Davies said comments about Page by FAW chief executive Noel Mooney were “not helpful”.

The performance of his side, and their post-match huddle, demonstrated Page has the backing of his squad.

“We want to win for Wales, we’re all in it together,” added Ward.

“The manager knows how we feel about him and how he feels about us as a group.

“We can look forward to another tough couple of games next month but it’s back in our hands and all to play for.”