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Last Updated: Friday, 27 January 2006, 13:33 GMT
Toshack happy with Wales' group
Wales manager John Toshack
Toshack feels player availability will be crucial to Wales
Wales boss John Toshack is pleased with his side's Euro 2008 qualifying pool.

His team have been drawn in Group D along with the Republic of Ireland, the Czech Republic, Germany, Slovakia, Cyprus and San Marino.

"With all due respects to the other teams we are happy with that and can't have many complaints," said Toshack.

"There were some pretty sticky travel locations in the pools but we've avoided them, now we'll have to fight our corner to get the fixtures right."

The Wales management team will meet in Cardiff on Tuesday and Wednesday to discuss strategy in arranging their group fixtures.

The Millennium Stadium is unavailable for the first two qualifying dates in September due to a Rolling Stones concert.

The key for us is the availability of our best players
Wales manager John Toshack

Toshack says he does not want to start with two away games, which could mean a match at Wrexham's Racecourse or Swansea's Liberty Stadium against one of the group minnows.

The Wales manager feels he has a chance of leading his country to their first major finals since the 1958 World Cup - if he can get his best team on the park.

"The key for us is the availability of our best players," he said.

"If we are able to have our better players there and our commitment is right then we are excited to think we can have a good run at this one.

"I made my own debut in Germany, so that is an attractive tie for me, but I think they would accept that they don't have the great players they used to have.

"The Czech Republic have knocked teams like Spain and Holland out of the top group of sides, that shows how formidable they have become in the last few years.

"We are trying to do something that has never been done before.

"We have never qualified outright for a major championship, so the motivation is to try to do that this time.

"You never know what can happen and I expect us to go through as one of the last-16 teams.

"I would be disappointed in myself if I didn't expect it, regardless of whether we were against the top sides in the world.

"I would expect it of myself because those are the standards I have been brought up with at Liverpool.

"I knew when I took the job what was expected of me and with the players I have available I want them to qualify for the finals."

Interview: Wales coach John Toshack


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