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Wales must build on victory when they take on Croatia, says Ashley Williams

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: October 15, 2012

Ashley Williams

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ASHLEY Williams insists Wales must build on Friday’s victory against Scotland when they visit Croatia tomorrow.

Wales moved off the mark in Group A with a 2-1 triumph over Craig Levein’s side in a match Williams had dubbed “must-win” in the build up.

The result gives Wales their first points of the World Cup qualifying campaign and lifts them up to fourth in the pool, three points behind joint leaders Belgium and Croatia.

A victory in Osijek would put Chris Coleman’s side right back in contention for a top-two finish, but that is a tall order against a side whose only dropped points have come after a 1-1 draw in Belgium.

Defeat is likely to leave Wales with a mountain to climb if they are to reach Brazil in 2014.

“We said before the Scotland game we needed to win at any cost and I’m pleased we’ve done that,” said Williams. “Now we go to Croatia looking to build on this.

“We got the points on Friday and we’re off the mark in the group. That’s something to build on in the next game.”

Williams replaced Aaron Ramsey as captain as Coleman attempted to revitalise an ailing team.

Despite suffering a 2-0 home defeat, ten-man Wales produced an encouraging performance in their Group A opener against Belgium.

But they followed that by being thumped 6-1 in Serbia.

“We’ve put Serbia to bed now. We spoke about it and we looked to come out here and produce a positive performance,” said Williams.

“When we played Belgium we performed very well and were very unlucky for obvious reasons.

“We went to Serbia and thought we were on a bit of a high and I don’t know what happened.”

Croatia came from a goal down to beat Macedonia on Friday and only goal difference is keeping them from topping the group outright.

They boast Everton striker Nikica Jelavic among their threats, but Wales have an in-form Gareth Bale to call on.

The Spurs wide man ripped Scotland apart as Wales recovered from going a goal behind.

Bale first won and scored a penalty with ten minutes remaining before smashing home a stunning winner at the death.

“I think it is credit to the boys that when it was 1-1 we didn’t settle for the draw,” added Williams.

“I thought it was a penalty and I thought we should have had one before as well.

“I was quite far back but it looked like a penalty from where I was and I don’t think it was in doubt when Gareth stepped up.

“He’s one of the best players in the world right now, we’re really pleased to have him because he can do stuff like he did on Friday.

“It’s so important to us that he stays fit if we want to do anything in the group.”

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  • Hadoken453  |  October 16 2012, 10:19PM

    Dont worry about the backpass, that pitch was a disgrace and the section where the ball hit looked like a minefield and while it was the same for both teams, its clear that they must be used to playing on a surface like that for it to even exist, I cant even think of a local park with a surface of section of it that bad. So it makes the location look a joke. In all fairness Croatia looked the better team anyway and I am confident we still would have lost.

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