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Last Updated: Saturday, 24 March 2007, 18:09 GMT
Toshack bemoans lack of an edge
Wales captain Ryan Giggs is shadowed by John O'Shea
Giggs struggled to make an impact up front
Wales manager John Toshack felt his side missed a killer touch in the 1-0 loss to the Republic of Ireland.

"I thought the first half in particular was as bad as it has been," he said after the Croke Park defeat.

"At times I could not believe what I was seeing, the Republic were far the better side and thoroughly deserved their goal, there were no complaints.

"In the second half we pushed them back and controlled things, but we lacked that bit necessary in the last third."

The Wales boss, who must prepare his side to face San Marino in Cardiff on Wednesday, conceded that they are now almost certainly out of the running to qualify for Euro 2008.

"From my point of view I know I have to work harder to get across what I want from the players," said Toshack.

I believe the tactics and system were right considering what we had available

Wales manager John Toshack

"As far as qualification is concerned, that looks over for us now.

"But we must pick ourselves up quickly. People will think the next game is a simple one for us.

"The Irish found that was not the case and they were probably a bit fortunate to have won when they played San Marino recently, it was a very late goal that saved them."

Toshack was keen to defend his controversial 5-3-2 formation in Dublin that had James Collins in the unfamiliar role of sweeper.

"We were short of several injured players who could have made a difference," said the Wales boss.

"I believe the tactics and system were right considering what we had available, but I did not expect such a poor first-half performance.

"We must, though, be positive. We will have Jason Koumas back from suspension on Wednesday and we certainly missed his creativity in midfield."

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