by Ethan Harris
RYAN Giggs has stressed the importance of a good start as Wales gear-up to face Slovakia and kick-off their European qualifiers.
The campaign begins with a home game at Cardiff City Stadium tomorrow. (Sunday)
With World Cup finalists Croatia also sat in Group E, it will be no easy feat grabbing top spot, but there is confidence in this Wales squad.
A blend of youth and experience has given Wales a sense of fearlessness.
Arsenal star Aaron Ramsey is missing in what will no doubt be a blow, but Giggs claims he wants to make Cardiff City stadium a fortress in front of the Red Wall tomorrow.
“I think no matter what the results were, it was important for us to get off to good start, we’ve said that all along,” said Giggs.
“The first game at home is not going to be easy.
“It was a really good game, Slovakia against Hungary on Thursday, so they’re coming here with three points and something to either hold on for, or if they go on and win they’ll be in a strong position so we’ll need to be up for it.
“We’ve always had great support, and the lads love playing in Cardiff, so you want your home ground to be a fortress, to intimidate the opposition team because when we go away they’ll try that against us.”
With the Wales boss anticipating a tough test against the Slovakian side, Giggs expressed his excitement in regard to the younger members of his team.
With David Brooks, Harry Wilson and Ben Woodburn all in the squad, it is certainly an exciting time in Welsh football.
Giggs has recognised the talent at his disposal, and looks set to give them their chance in the qualifying campaign.
“I’ve inherited a really experienced squad and some exciting younger players as well,” Giggs continued.
“I think they’ve seen the commitment so far, to the players who serve their country so well and also the exciting young players, giving them a chance.
“It’s up to me to get that balance right but I’m working as hard as anyone, as well as the staff and the players, to make sure we qualify again.”
It will be vital for the home side to grab all three points on Sunday to kick-start their campaign, but make no mistake the former Manchester United star will have his eyes firmly set on sitting atop Group E at the end of their journey.
Whether or not they can get the consistency to do so will be a different question.
Wales face Slovakia at the Cardiff City Stadium on Sunday at 2pm in the opening fixture of their European Championships qualifying campaign.