Wales boss John Toshack took some positives from Tuesday's 0-0 draw with Northern Ireland although he was not entirely happy with the display.
John Toshack watches Tuesday's game at Windsor Park
"The way the defence performed is a big plus for us," said Toshack.
"It was a very good workout, in the first half we controlled things quite well but were maybe a little bit lightweight in the last third.
"We tried to improve on that in the second half but lost what we had in the first and were pushed back."
Toshack said that he had left out Ryan Giggs because of the Manchester United star's "tight hamstring".
"There's no point in risking him in this kind of game."
The Wales boss also explained his reasons for leaving out Southampton youngster Gareth Bale.
"He's played three games in six days and at 17 has a lot on his plate.
"We wanted to have a look at a few things - some things pleased us and one or two not so much."
Toshack gave a first cap to Jermaine Easter who replaced another substitute David Cotterill midway through the second half.
"It is not a reflection on David, I just wanted to change one or two things round a bit."
On Easter, the Wales boss said: "He worked away and hopefully he gets a bit of confidence from that."