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Edwards: "It's the best shape Welsh football has ever been in"

Royals midfielder says national side can thrive without Bale

5 October 2017

Dave Edwards insists the Wales squad can cope with the loss of talisman, Gareth Bale, who misses their crucial final World Cup qualifiers with injury.

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Edwards joins up with the squad with fellow Royal, and newly named Wales Player of the Year, Chris Gunter, to face Georgia and the Republic of Ireland to battle it out for a place at next year's World Cup in Russia.

Wales are currently in Tbilisi ahead of Friday night's vital qualifier against Georgia, before the squad return home to face Ireland in what is likely to be a winner-takes-all match for a play-off place.

On the loss of Bale, Edwards said in his pre-match press conference: “It would be a blow for any team in the world. Your heart sinks a little bit when you first hear it [the news], but I’m sure players will come in and fill his boots in different ways.

“I look around now and the amount of quality we have, it's the best shape Welsh football has ever been in. Ben (Woodburn) reminds me of what Gareth was like when he was younger. If the gaffer needs me he knows he will get 100% out of me.”

The Royals midfielder currently holds 41 caps for his country, something which he is hoping to add to as his country guns for a World Cup place for the first time since 1958.

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With as many as four teams still able to qualify from Group D, Edwards knows that six points from their final two matches of the qualifying campaign will be vital for their hopes of qualification for the World Cup.

“If I do get any game time I will be ready," He said. "I'm desperate to be at the World Cup in Russia, it would top off my international career.

“They (Georgia) were top drawer when we played them in Cardiff, they were disappointed not to get the three points.

“They're a very technical team. It's a game where we have to be at our very best to get a result.

“Georgia will feel unlucky not to have more points on the board. We will need to be organised.”

On the vocal support that Wales fans bring to each game, he added: “I can't praise the fans enough, they inspire you to push on.

“There's not many countries or clubs around the world that have that support or patience.”

Wales kick off against Georgia at 5pm on Friday evening, we send Dave and Chris the best of luck going into these crucial qualifiers for their country.


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