Ryan Giggs puts his faith in youth as Wales bask in glory of Irish triumph

Wales were stranded at Cardiff airport on their way to Denmark but they are upwardly mobile after their win over Ireland

Joe Allen believes Ryan Giggs is the perfect person to nurture Wales’s new generation after his side stirred up memories of Manchester United’s Class of ’92. Those who watched Wales hammer Ireland 4-1 on Thursday could have been forgiven for believing history was repeating itself as a fearless team of emerging players wearing red grasped their opportunity to impress on the international stage.

Sir Alex Ferguson was rewarded with a glut of silverware after he placed his trust in youth. Giggs was thrust into the spotlight alongside David Beckham, Paul Scholes, Gary Neville, Phil Neville and Nicky Butt and they developed into serial winners.

The Wales manager’s influence was clear as he handed starts to Ethan Ampadu (17), Chris Mepham (20), David Brooks (21) and Connor Roberts (22). Chelsea’s Ampadu was named man of the match for his display in midfield, Brooks had the Ireland defence in tatters and Roberts capped his competitive debut with his first goal in senior football. Manchester City’s 18-year‑old midfielder Matthew Smith made an impact off the bench alongside the Leeds striker Tyler Roberts and Allen believes the fresh footballing philosophy can usher in a new era of success.

Wales will be hoping to play with the same verve and panache against Denmark . They dominated possession against the Republic and completed 88% of their 574 passes in an attacking 4-3-3 formation.

“Ryan’s got a lot of faith in the young lads,” said the Stoke midfielder Allen. “You could see even when he took over at United for a few games he gave young players a chance straight away. Tom Lawrence was one of them.

“I’m sure that is as a result of the chance he got as a young player and the Class of ’92 is no better example of giving youth a chance. It’s a taste of what his philosophy is going to be about and it certainly looks like it is going to be the right one.

“It’s tough to put lads in any sort of bracket like the Class of ’92 but we take huge confidence from the Ireland game that the nation is going to be in good hands moving forward. A lot of those lads are going to be around for years and years.”

While an off-the-field dispute limited Denmark’s preparation to two training sessions, Wales suffered a travel nightmare to level the playing field.

Giggs’s plans were thrown into chaos after technical difficulties with their plane left them grounded at Cardiff airport. His side were due to arrive in Aarhus on Saturday night, before their pre-match press conference at 7.30pm local time, following a final training session at their Vale of Glamorgan base. But faults with the aircraft meant they were stranded on the ground while mechanics worked to make the plane fit for travel.

While Wales were stuck at home, Denmark were making up for lost time after a temporary deal was struck between the DBU and Denmark Players’ Association over a new playing agreement.

Commercial and image rights were the main point of contention and at one point it looked as if Gareth Bale and his teammates would be facing a team made up of third, fourth and fifth-team players as well as the nation’s futsal squad.

The makeshift team had been thrown together for Wednesday’s friendly in Slovakia, where they put up stiff resistance in a 3-0 defeat to return home as heroes.

But now Wales face the challenge of taking on the Denmark team who were knocked out of the World Cup on penalties at the last-16 stage, though Allen was always expecting to face their Premier League stars.

“My gut feeling told me it would probably get resolved before our game and it has,” he added. “It would have been an interesting one to see what would have happened if it had not. The message was to focus completely on the Ireland game, which we did to a certain degree, but you couldn’t help but keep an eye on what was going on. But it’s always great when you have two games, especially when you do so well in the first game. We are going to take huge positives and confidence into the second game on Sunday.”

James Candy

The GuardianTramp

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