After Wales thrashed the Republic of Ireland 4-1 at the Cardiff City Stadium in the new UEFA Nations League tournament on Thursday night, Ryan Giggs said he “can’t be much happier.”
For the former Manchester United captain’s first competitive match in charge he chose to play dominant attacking football with a blend of youth and experience.
Tom Lawrence opened the scoring after 6 minutes following clever work by midfielder Joe Allan. A Gareth Bale special doubled the lead before 20 minutes. An unmarked Aaron Ramsey got his name on the score sheet just before halftime, smashing an unstoppable shot past Darren Randolph,
Welsh right back Connor Roberts thundered a low shot past Ireland’s goalkeeper from 20 yards to make it 4-0 before 55 minutes before Ireland scored a consolation goal through Shaun Williams 10 minutes later.
“I enjoyed the performance, and the goals, but you always think you can do better,” Giggs told Sky Sports.
“The lads were magnificent, scored some brilliant goals and played some great football. I can’t be much happier.
“At the start of the season, it’s juggling players who are playing regularly and have match rhythm, and like the squad having that balance of experience but bringing those young players in too.
“You don’t get long with the players, but I must say a big thank you to the staff and players really; it’s been quite intense, you don’t get much time on the grass, some of the players played on Sunday, so it was about recovery and then working on things as much as we can, and trusting each other with the ball.
“It’s about expressing themselves and they’ve done that, but now it’s about maintaining that standard we’ve set.”
Having set a benchmark on Thursday night, the national team will now travel to face Denmark on Sunday who have now resolved their dispute over image rights and will be fielding their senior stars.