by Callum Ellis
WALES Women’s manager Jayne Ludlow said her side’s victory over Bosnia and Herzegovina has kept them on a journey few would have predicted.
Kayleigh Green’s strike sent Wales back to the top of Group A and kept their World Cup dream alive at the Liberty Stadium.
Before turning the attention to Russia, Ludlow reflected on the win: “We’re extremely happy.The result has kept us on a journey. I don’t think anybody involved at the start of this campaign would have thought we would be in this position.”
Her side stretched their unbeaten run to six games and are still yet to concede in their World Cup qualifying campaign.
Wales enjoyed much of the possession throughout the first half, but failed to trouble Bosnia goalkeeper Envera Hasanbegovic.
Seattle Reign midfielder Jess Fishlock went the closest to opening the scoring just before the interval.
“We’re not too pleased with our performance in many areas in the first half. We seemed to be playing the occasion too much, but the group as a whole proved they listen to instructions and they changed it.
“We came in at half time and the challenge for us was to make sure the journey was still going to happen. They did that and had to dig in at times.”
The Wales manager says she will not reflect on Helen Ward’s second half penalty after the Watford Ladies striker was denied from the spot.
“We’ve missed a penalty unfortunately, but we’ve got the goal we needed. It won’t be a focus for us with regards to Helen – she had a fantastic game. It was lovely to have her back on the pitch fully fit and now ready to challenge going forwards for us. It would have just been a bonus.”
The former Arsenal Ladies midfielder praised the work rate of the goalscorer Green, who fired Wales ahead of England.
“She works extremely hard. All the way through the team, they have to defend and she does that. It can be unusual for a centre forward but every single member of that team did their job and it’s kept us on the road to potentially creating history.”
Ludlow played down the expectation levels, but said her side will learn from mistakes as they prepare to welcome Russia to Newport Stadium on Tuesday.
“All of our players want to enjoy playing in front of their family and friends and they want to put on a performance for them. That can take your mind into a difference place and you forget your role. But as international footballers they can’t afford to do that so we’ll be taking that lesson from today and it won’t happen again.
“The expectation with regards to our performance is to just be better in certain areas than we have been in the previous game and that’s no different going into Russia.
“I took this role because I’m very passionate about helping all Welsh players achieve something they desperately want. We’re still on the road to doing that.”
You can watch Jayne Ludlow’s press conference here.