Wales manager Robert Page believes goalkeeper Danny Ward will “bounce back” after his devastating, if unusual, error against the Czech Republic in Friday’s World Cup qualifying match.
Ward was unable to control Aaron Ramsey’s backpass, which rolled into the net, giving the Czech Republic a 2-1 lead.
Wales’ fans sang Ward’s name after the final whistle in a show of support, but Daniel James equalised for the visitors.
Page added, ‘I thought it was a really beautiful touch from the supporters.’
The lads are rallying around him, and he’ll bounce back, knowing him as a character. Since he’s been involved, Danny has been outstanding. Unfortunately, this occurs. We know him as a person; he’s a strong-willed individual who will recover without difficulty. “
Ward’s error was particularly regrettable considering he has been a reliable performer for Wales since taking over as first-choice goalkeeper from Wayne Hennessey.
Ward of Leicester City showed his gratitude to Wales’ supporters by walking across to their part of the stadium after the final whistle in Prague to praise the ‘Red Wall.’
“Danny has been fantastic for us. These things happen now and then, but I’m confident there’s nothing to be concerned about. We’re fortunate to have him in goal for us.” Wales captain Ramsey told Sky Sports.
Wales fought back admirably after falling behind, controlling the second half and missing multiple chances to score the winning goal that their pressure deserved.
With Belgium’s eight-point lead at the top practically ruling out automatic qualifying, Wales’ struggle for second place – and a place in the play-offs – looks poised to go down to the wire.
Wales are almost certain to make the play-offs thanks to their Nations League success, but placing second in this World Cup qualifying group might give them a better draw in the knockout stage.
“We’re disappointed because we didn’t win. “I thought we had complete control of the game and produced some fantastic opportunities,” Page remarked.
“We’re disappointed because we should have six points instead of two from the last two games.”