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Page last updated at 22:02 GMT, Friday, 29 May 2009 23:02 UK

Toshack buoyed by Estonia victory

Wales midfielder Aaron Ramsey battles for the ball
Aaron Ramsey produced a polished performance in the Wales midfield

Wales boss John Toshack said his side's 1-0 win over Estonia was a "useful exercise" in preparation for next weekend's World Cup trip to Azerbaijan.

"Many of our lads have been out of training for a few weeks, and our lack of fitness showed in the second half," he said after the Llanelli friendly.

"We needed this run-out ahead of the World Cup game, it was important.

"Our fitness levels were not good, but it was nice to get a game in and to register a win."

Rob Earnshaw's 26th-minute penalty proved enough for Toshack's young side, which had an average age of 21 and the youngest ever fielded by Wales in a full international.

The brought much-needed relief after a run of three defeats, but Wales did pick up two worrying injuries ahead of the Group Four qualifier in Baku on 6 June.


West Ham midfielder Jack Collison, only recently back in action after 10 weeks out with a knee problem, came off near the end as a precaution following discomfort with the same knee.

And Manchester City striker Ched Evans was also withdrawn late on because of a muscle problem in his back.

Toshack said: "We do not think either of them are serious, but we will assess them both again when we meet up in London on Monday for the flight to Azerbaijan."

Wales train at Bisham Abbey in Berkshire on Monday and Tuesday before a late evening flight to Baku, with Toshack hoping Collison and Evans are fit enough to travel.

The manager is already without Craig Bellamy, Simon Davies, James Collins and Jason Koumas because of injury, while Sam Ricketts is doubtful with a back problem.

Wales looked composed in possession against a poor Estonia side in Llanelli, but Toshack expects a far tougher proposition in Azerbaijan.

He said: "It will be interesting to see how they cope because it will be a hostile place and very hot.

"I have never fielded such a young side as that, certainly not at club level. I would have gone out and bought half a dozen players by now.

"We will find a match that will be a good character builder for them all."

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see also
Wales 1-0 Estonia
29 May 09 |  Internationals
Collison dismisses England talk
27 May 09 |  Internationals
Australian Williams snubs Wales
14 May 09 |  Welsh
Pick your Wales XI
05 Feb 07 |  Internationals
Wales' international fixtures
22 Aug 07 |  Internationals
Wales' results archive
10 Oct 05 |  Internationals
Country profile: Estonia
05 Aug 09 |  Country profiles
BBC Sport Wales coverage
03 Feb 09 |  Wales

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