Euro 2024 qualifying: Wales must ‘end on high’ against Turkey – Robert Page

Venue: Cardiff City Stadium Date: Tuesday, 21 November Kick-off: 19:45 GMT
Coverage: Live on BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru, BBC Sounds, BBC Sport website and app, plus live text. Highlights on Match of the Day Wales, BBC One Wales from 22: 40 GMT and later on demand

Manager Robert Page has urged Wales to end their Euro 2024 qualifying campaign “on a high” after a disappointing draw in Armenia.

Saturday’s 1-1 draw means Wales must now beat Group D leaders Turkey in Cardiff on Tuesday and hope Croatia do not win at home to Armenia.

Failing that, Wales will almost certainly have the back-up option of the play-offs in March.

“Unfortunately it’s now out of our control,” said Page.

“With a win, we’d all have been buzzing and looking forward to the game on Tuesday and a [further] win would have seen us qualify.

“It’s not materialised as we’d like but that’s life and we have to get on with it.

“It’s about building momentum and, if it’s a play-off in March, it’s a play-off in March. If results go for us, we’ve still got an opportunity to qualify [automatically].

“We can only control what we can do, get the players in the right frame of mind, mentally and physically ready for Tuesday.”

Wales had travelled to Yerevan with their destiny in their own hands, as wins against Armenia and Turkey would have secured their place at next summer’s European Championship in Germany, regardless of what Croatia did.

But Page’s side never looked like winning in the Armenian capital. They fell behind in the fifth minute and, despite equalising shortly before half-time, Wales were ragged.

They did not sink to the depths of their shambolic 4-2 defeat at home against Armenia in June but this result – and the nature of this performance – raises serious doubts about their ability to qualify for Euro 2024.

It was a far cry from last month’s magnificent home win over Croatia. Now Wales must hope last year’s World Cup semi-finalists slip up against Armenia on Tuesday.

Even if that result goes their way, Wales will need to improve sharply if they are to overcome Turkey at Cardiff City Stadium.

“We’re all disappointed, but we threw everything at it,” Page said.

“I’m not going to fault the players for their effort. Their effort, to a man, was commendable. They gave everything, like they always do.

“The pitch was heavy, like nothing we’ve seen back home, but it was the same for both sides.

“We made substitutions early so we’ll get them recovered – we’re flying straight back tonight, we’ll have a recovery session on Sunday and go through with the medical team who we’ve got available for Tuesday.

“We need to finish the campaign on a high. It’s important to have some momentum if there is a play-off in March.”

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