It may be Messrs Bale, Ramsey and Bellamy currently grabbing the headlines for Wales, but manager Gary Speed insists there is an abundance of quality throughout the squad and is quick to point out his rebuilding job is all about a collective team effort.
Speaking after his side’s impressive 4-1 victory over Norway in Cardiff, Speed said:
“I know certain lads get the headlines but it’s very much a team effort because if we are going to achieve anything, it’s got to be as a team.”
While acknowledging his side has attacking flair in abundance, Speed is equally keen to emphasise the important role the defence plays in allowing the creative players the freedom to push forward.
“We’ve always stressed that we’ve got great players going forward and we can always create and score goals but we’ve got to give those players a platform to do it and the back four, the midfield and the goalkeeper have been excellent.”
Speed was also full of praise for Cardiff City player Darcy Blake, insisting he has all the attributes to make it at the top-level. Despite a string of impressive performances for Wales which have seen him firmly cement his place in central defence alongside Ashley Williams, Blake has struggled to become a regular at club level.
But the Wales boss believes if he continues to work hard, he has the world at his feet.
“Darcy has probably been our most consistent player over the last 5 games. He needs to keep his head down, train hard and keep plugging away because he’s good enough to be a Premier League centre half for the rest of his career, there’s no doubt about that.
It’s up to him to make sure he does things right for himself, not for Cardiff, not for Wales, because he’s got all the ability in the world.”