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Wales v Poland: Page expects Red Wall to play ‘massive role’ in Euro 2024 play-off

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Rob Page expects Wales’ supporters to play a “massive role” when they attempt to seal their spot at Euro 2024 in Tuesday’s huge qualification play-off clash with Poland in Cardiff.

Wales routed Finland 4-1 on Thursday to reach the final of play-off path A, with a place in Group D at this summer’s tournament – alongside the Netherlands, France and Austria – on the line.

They will welcome Poland to the Cardiff City Stadium after Michal Probierz’s men thrashed Estonia 5-1 in their own semi-final, with Robert Lewandowski and company aiming to reach a fifth successive edition of the Euros.

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While Poland are sure to pose a tough challenge, Page believes home advantage could be crucial to Wales’ hopes of reaching a third straight major tournament.

“It’ll be no different to what they have done in every other game,” Page said when asked about the potential impact of Wales’ ‘Red Wall’.

“I think it’s 20 games unbeaten out of 23 home games. It’s an incredible record.

“Our supporters are massive, they took the roof off with the anthem the other day so let’s use that to our advantage.

“We know Poland have an abundance of quality, they have a new manager and they’re here for a reason.

“We’ll take note of that but it’s about us playing as well as we can. If we match the level of performance that we know we can, the result takes care of itself.”

Wales’ current qualification campaign is their first since Gareth Bale retired last year, while fellow stalwart Aaron Ramsey has struggled for regular minutes at club level recently.

However, Page believes relying on a younger squad has benefitted Wales in some ways, adding: “I think we’re in a healthier position in regard to age and the legs on the pitch.

“We saw at the World Cup, teams like Canada, Morocco and the USA were athletic, and we’re getting there. It’s a challenge but we’re getting there.

“We wouldn’t have qualified for the World Cup without Gareth Bale, if he didn’t score the goals in the [play-off] semi-finals and final.

“It shows how far we have come to be one game away from qualifying without Gareth Bale.”

Harry Carr
Harry Carr
Harry is a freelance sports journalist with experience of working for the Racing Post, Stats Perform, Opta Analyst and more, covering major events across all sports but holding a particular love for the beautiful game.

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