I didn’t think Roy Hodgson had the balls to do what he did against Wales – but he did and the gamble paid off.
Bringing on Jamie Vardy and Daniel Sturridge changed the game and if they play Slovakia with that team and the attitude they showed in the second half – England are going to smash them.
Wales should take this lesson on board and show some balls of their own to get the result we need to get out of the group.
I was disappointed with the loss because I thought we could have done a few things better. The attitude and effort was brilliant and if we repeat that against Russia with just a couple of tweaks then we should be alright.
I don’t think Chris will need to do anything special to get the players motivated. We’ve just got to get Gareth Bale on the ball as much as possible.
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No need to worry
We have to pressurise Russia all over the pitch, like we did against Slovakia. We’ll have to be higher up the pitch, get the ball back earlier and close down the ball in their half – rather than dropping off like we did against England. That caused us a lot of problems and encouraged England to attack.
If someone had said we’d have to beat Russia to go through we’d have taken that so it’s not all doom and gloom. It’s a cup-tie now, if we win we’re through.
It’ll be interesting to see what Russia’s attitude is like after losing to Slovakia. I wouldn’t be too concerned about their striker Artem Dzyuba. That kind of big, physical frontman is better for us. Strikers that have a lot of movement is where we struggle but big fellas up front is something we’re well used to. He’s ain’t that quick either.
Hopefully we’ll be more offensive and keep the ball better. The thing that’s made the difference in both games is how we kept hold of the ball.
Night terrors? We’ve got Rambo
I also think playing at night is going to help us to play a high-pressing game. And Aaron Ramsey is key to that happening.
Aaron Ramsey could be the biggest player for us because he’s turning in to a player who can take the game by the scruff of the neck. I thought he was the best player on the pitch against England by a mile. His work-rate and attitude was fantastic. He was up taking a corner one minute, then back defending the next. He’s shown that he’s a top- quality player and is getting better as the tournament progresses. If he gets enough rest he’ll be a major factor in how we get on against Russia.
We have to beat Russia, it’s as simple as that, but we’ll have to keep the ball better and provide better service to the front men. Even if we don’t qualify, there are tons of pluses for Wales. No matter what happens in that game, I’m confident they’ll qualify for another tournament and they’ll be better prepared thanks to their experiences in France.