BBC Home
Explore the BBC
watch listen BBC Sport BBC Sport
Low graphics|Help
Last Updated: Sunday, 25 March 2007, 13:13 GMT 14:13 UK
Kevin Ratcliffe on Rep of Ire v Wales
By Kevin Ratcliffe
Former Wales and Everton captain

There are plenty of lessons to be learnt from Wales' disappointing 1-0 defeat to the Republic of Ireland in Croke Park.

Stephen Ireland celebrates the Republic of Ireland's winner in Dublin
Wales paid the penalty for a poor first half in Dublin

But learning is still what it's all about for Wales.

We are in a transitional period, we are learning, and we are looking to play the game in the right way.

What Wales have to do is start creating chances, getting the ball into the box and playing further up the field.

The first half in Dublin was very poor, but Craig Bellamy will be disappointed not to have put away a great chance - those are the sort of opportunities you just have to seize in international football.

Things went a lot better in the second half and John Toshack's side put together some extremely good football.

But Wales still failed to really hurt the Irish or carve out clear-cut chances.

One thing that I hope is taken note of is who the important players are for us.


Simon Davies was very effective early in the second half, he was on the ball a lot and proved extremely influential.

But when we changed our format and put him out on the right-hand side he faded from view.

For Wales to progress, they have to have their best players involved as much as possible.

Simon is one of the best, and to get Wales ticking he has to be in the middle of that team.

Rep of Ire 1-0 Wales
24 Mar 07 |  Internationals
No pressure on Toshack - Collins
25 Mar 07 |  Internationals
Toshack bemoans lack of an edge
24 Mar 07 |  Internationals
Staunton relief obvious after win
24 Mar 07 |  Internationals
Live - Euro 2008 qualifiers
24 Mar 07 |  Internationals
International photos
24 Mar 07 |  Football


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Daily and weekly e-mails | Mobiles | Desktop Tools | News Feeds | Interactive Television | Downloads
Sport Homepage | Football | Cricket | Rugby Union | Rugby League | Tennis | Golf | Motorsport | Boxing | Athletics | Snooker | Horse Racing | Cycling | Disability Sport | Olympics 2012 | Other Sport...

Video and Audio | Scores & Fixtures | Have Your Say | TV/Radio Schedule

Fun and Games | Question of Sport | Photo Galleries

Northern Ireland | Scotland | Wales

Help | Privacy & Cookies Policy | News sources | About the BBC | Contact us