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Wales v Argentina: Dragon Soccer Exclusive.
Quiet Air Of Confidence In Team Hotel. - 12.02.2002
by a Dragon Soccer Reporter. [ click here exclusive player photos ]
As Wales prepare for the glamour game against Argentina Dragon Soccer were able to spend some time with the players in the luxurious surroundings of their team hotel.

Despite the loss of several players due to injury and club commitments the atmosphere was relaxed. There was an air of quiet confidence and the players appeared ready for the task ahead of them. They were looking forward to the game and saw it as an opportunity to test their skills against arguably the best team in the world.

They felt that the game with Argentina was only the start and the chance to play against the Czech Republic and Germany were also golden opportunities as both teams are ranked in the Top 15.
The team has come a long way and perhaps people forget just how far they have come over the past two years under Mark Hughes' guidance. Everyone is in a confident mood and really looking forward to the game.

As one of the players pointed out the comments at the end of the World Cup qualifiers by some in the media hurt. They don't feel their record is as bad as some would suggest and they feel confident that they are on the right track. "We were not going to get to being World Cup Champions in just two years." he said.

When asked how the team felt when they heard about the upcoming game with Argentina goalkeeper Paul Jones said:

"When I heard about the game I felt fantastic. I had heard a whisper a few weeks earlier but then it all went quiet and I didn't think the game would be on. But when the game was confirmed everyone felt it was a great opportunity to pit ourselves against one of the best teams in the world."

He described the attitude of the team at the moment and said: "Everyone is in a confident mood and really looking forward to the game."

Paul Jones continued "The system Mark uses is suitable for the players we have. He develops their strengths against their weaknesses."

Spending time with the players they certainly appeared relaxed and confident. John Hartson despite being hassled by a foreign journalist as to "how he was going to play" was his usual ebullient self.

Captain Gary Speed was professional and courteous as always. Craig Bellamy was a huge hit with the small group of young fans waiting for autographs and to have their photograph taken with their heroes, they loved him. Ryan Giggs stopped patiently to sign autographs and be photographed.

As the players were quick to point out under Mark Hughes the team was now well organised and harder to beat and this had led to more confidence within the squad. And it has to be said that after spending a few hours with them there certainly did appear to be a new found confidence.


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