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Last Updated: Thursday, 7 February 2008, 09:15 GMT
Kevin Ratcliffe on Wales
Kevin Ratcliffe
By Kevin Ratcliffe
Former Wales and Everton captain

Wales' 3-0 win over Norway in Wrexham was only a friendly, but manager John Toshack has got to be happy with that.

Wales celebrate their win over Norway at the Racecourse
Now Wales have got players on the bench who can change the structure and shape of a game

Friendlies usually dwindle away, and that would have been understandable after a relatively lacklustre first half on a dreadful pitch.

Before the break, Wales found it difficult to keep hold of the ball in dangerous areas of the field.

But now Wales have got players on the bench who can change the structure and shape of a game, that's a big bonus for them and one they have never really had before.

They have gone from being a very weak international squad to one that is gaining experiencing and caps and continually improving.

The youth and enthusiasm got them through, that was difficult to combat - Wales were more decisive and committed, they were exceptional.

606: DEBATE
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David Edwards made a big difference when he came on at half-time, he stretched Norway more, got beyond their defenders, and showed great composure to set up the final goal.

Jason Koumas had not been doing that from his role behind the striker in the first 45.

He scored two goals in the second half and impressed overall, but it's not all about Koumas, we need to look at the players getting the ball to him like Carl Fletcher.

Koumas has got something that other players don't have, he puts his foot on the ball and makes things happen - and he had the opportunities to do that against Norway.

But he can be frustrating in the really tough games where he can go missing for a long time.

It's so important that he learns to use more limited possession well against the bigger sides - in the World Cup qualifying campaign Wales need him to thrive in places like Germany.

  • Kevin Ratcliffe was speaking on BBC Radio Wales


    SEE ALSO
    Future is looking good - Koumas
    07 Feb 08 |  Internationals
    Wales 3-0 Norway
    06 Feb 08 |  Internationals


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