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Swansea City captain Ashley Williams believes he's in best form of his career

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: February 06, 2013

By Stephen ware

Ashley Williams

Ashley Williams

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ASHLEY Williams believes he will lead Wales out against Austria at the Liberty tonight (7.45) in the best form of his career.

The Swansea City defender skippers a side boasting all of their big guns for an international friendly.

For Williams, it is a break from a Premier League campaign that has being going well both on a personal and club note.

Despite last Saturday's defeat to West Ham, Swansea are in upbeat mood. They are sitting comfortably in the top half of the table and have a Capital One Cup final against Bradford to look forward to.

Williams has been a central figure in Swansea's recent success, marshalling a back four that has conceded just three goals in the past seven games.

Such good form contrasts with the situation the former Stockport man found himself in when he was handed the international armband by Chris Coleman last October.

That came after the 28-year-old had made a couple of high-profile mistakes for club and country.

Since then, Williams has barely put a foot wrong and was recently hailed by Coleman has one of the best centre-backs in the Premier League.

"I think I probably am in the best form of my career, but you will have to ask someone else about that," said Williams. "It is always nice to hear people say nice things about you and stuff. I'm not sure about that myself, but I think I have been playing well and a lot of people have been talking and saying good things.

"It just means I'm probably doing my job right and I'll try to keep working hard.

"At the time it was nice to get the captaincy when I was going through that little bit of a rocky spell.

"For the gaffer to still have the confidence in giving me the armband was nice and we haven't had a Wales game for a while, so I think I just tried to concentrate on my form for Swansea."

Wales take on an Austria side ranked 68th in the world, 13 places above Coleman's side.

They are looking to build momentum after suffering a 2-0 defeat to Croatia four months ago.

After this friendly Wales return to World Cup 2014 qualification action against Scotland and Croatia at the end of March.

Wales's hopes of reaching the Brazil finals have all but evaporated, but positive results in their remaining group matches will help secure a better seeding ahead of Euro 2016 qualifiers.

"We have this friendly now and the two important games in March, so it is a good game for us to perform well in," added Williams.

"We expect a strong team who are very good offensively.

"We highlighted a few little things that maybe we could exploit and identified their weaknesses although obviously I'm not going to go into that. But we expect a tough game."

Wales squad: J. Brown (Unattached), B. Myhill (West Brom), O. F. Williams (Tranmere), A. Williams (Swansea, capt), J. Richards (Swansea), J. Lynch (Huddersfield), S. Ricketts (Bolton), C. Gunter (Reading), A. Matthews (Celtic), B. Davies (Swansea), J. Collison (West Ham), A. King (Leicester), J. Allen (Liverpool), A. Ramsey (Arsenal), D. Vaughan (Sunderland), J. Ledley (Celtic), G. Bale (Tottenham), H. Robson-Kanu (Reading), S. Vokes (Burnley), S. C. (Reading), C. Bellamy (Cardiff) C. Davies (Bolton).

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