by Callum Ellis & Editor
PROVING the doubters wrong is something Jayne Ludlow and her side are becoming masters at.
Wales Women moved another step closer to their first World Cup last night – and the manager is acutely aware of the significance of the progress her team has made.
Ludlow said the 3-0 victory over Russia in Newport had shown those inside and outside the camp just what her side was capable of. The win guarantees Wales at least second place in Group One.
Kayleigh Green’s second half brace and a goal from Natasha Harding also ensured Wales reclaimed top spot, replacing England. Wales welcome the Lionesses on August 31.
“Sometimes the smaller nations step out, perform extremely well and prove themselves. That’s what we’ve done,” said Ludlow.
“Nobody expected us to be anywhere near this position come the end of seven games, so for us we’ve proved some doubters wrong, some doubters within our own group because they’ve never been able to perform when the pressure was on.”
Speaking about Green’s second goal of the evening, the Wales boss praised her team’s effort for their work on the training ground.
“You could have shot me then and I would have died happy,” joked the former Arsenal midfielder.
“You work on things on the training pitch and you hope they happen in the game and when you actually see them happen it is a fantastic feeling for everyone involved.”
Ludlow’s side moved one point ahead of England and maintained their 100% defensive record by not conceding a goal in their qualifying campaign.
“We’re a tight group. We’ve had lots of challenges thrown at us over the last two years. We’ve made errors in certain places, but what’s fantastic about the group of players I’m working with is they correct them quickly.”
Wales have played each of their three home games at different stadiums, but a decision has not yet been made as to where they will face Phil Neville’s Lionesses in their final qualifying fixture.
“Something extremely loud – that would suit us. I’m sure discussions will be had in the next two weeks over what’s the best option for us and right now I couldn’t tell you what that is.”