Euro Football

Ryan Giggs on unstoppable Man Utd star Daniel James as Wales boss gives Euro 2020 qualifying verdict after shock results

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Ryan Giggs has hailed Daniel James’ start to the season as “amazing” following the winger’s performance for Wales against Belarus.

The 21-year-old scored the only goal of the game to earn the hosts victory in front of a sparse crowd at Cardiff City Stadium.

It took his tally to four in six matches for club and country so far in the 2019/20 campaign.

And Giggs admits he was torn over whether or not to play the Manchester United youngster in the friendly before revealing that it was James who put himself forward for selection.

Daniel James of Wales celebrates with team-mates

“It was a difficult one with Dan whether to rest him, but he wanted to play,” said the Wales manager.

“When you are in form like his, players just want to play and keep scoring. He gets fans off their feet. Every time he gets the ball the fans are looking for him to do something.

“Regarding the fans, I would like to thank fans who did turn up because it’s not easy. The schools have gone back and it’s difficult to get to games. But I think they would have enjoyed it tonight and enjoyed Dan’s performance as well as the team performance.

“I think early on when I saw DJ, just like any young winger, there can be that improvement with the final ball and scoring more goals and he’s doing that.

“To do what he’s done at the start of the season is amazing. The next step is showing that consistency and he needs to carry it on, but I’ve got no doubts that will happen because he wants to be the best, he’s a great character and a great trainer. He wanted to play tonight.

“I’m really pleased for him. He’s one of those players where you know what he’s going to do but you can’t stop it.”

Daniel James of Wales celebrates with Jonny Williams

While Wales were claiming their second win of the international break, all four of the other sides in their Euro 2020 qualifying group were in action.

Slovakia claimed an impressive 2-1 win over Hungary shortly after 2018 World Cup finalists Croatia were held to a 1-1 draw with Azerbaijan in Baku.

It means Group E has been blown wide open, with Croatia leading the group on 10 points while Slovakia and Hungary have nine apiece, three more than Wales who boast a game in hand over the rest of the four teams in the group.

And Giggs admits the results were somewhat favourable to Wales’ hopes of qualifying for next year’s tournament.

Wales manager Ryan Giggs
(Image: Gareth Everett/Huw Evans Agency)

“I don’t think they’re the worst results in the world. It was a difficult one with Hungary v Slovakia. We definitely didn’t want a Hungary win because they would have gone to 12 points. It’s not too bad,” he added.

“But we’ve got to focus on ourselves. It’s still in our hands if we win every game. It’s a big ask because you’ve seen how tightly contested it is.

“It’s all about what team turns up on the day or on the night. You never know what the result is going to be, home or away in this group.

“We just need to look after ourselves. This year we’ve had four home wins so now we need to pick up points away from home too.”

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