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Page last updated at 20:46 GMT, Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Keeper not to blame, says Toshack

Wales manager John Toshack
Wales manager John Toshack looks on ruefully after Poland's late goal

Wales manager John Toshack said he did not blame goalkeeper Boaz Myhill for conceding the late goal in Wednesday's 1-0 friendly loss to Poland.

Roger Guerreiro struck with a fine chip on 80 minutes to hand Poland the win and dent an encouraging Wales show.

"I'm disappointed with the goal, the way we set up we shouldn't really lose a goal like that and I don't necessarily mean Boaz," Toshack said.

"But I thought we gave as good as we got, taking things into consideration."

Wales, despite missing a raft of senior players and making five half-time changes, never looked outclassed in a friendly played on neutral territory in Portugal.

Joe Ledley hit the bar in the first half, captain Craig Bellamy looked bright in his 45-minute cameo, while Aaron Ramsey impressed after his half-time introduction.

But a match that had seemed to be heading for a morale-boosting draw ahead of March's World Cup qualifiers was turned by a superb chip from the boot of Poland's Brazilian-born midfielder Guerreiro.

"With so many young lads you do see at times that they lack a little bit the tricks of the trade," Toshack added.

"They're a very strong side the Poles, we know that, but we did okay.

"We've had three good days training away from home, it's the first time we've seen them [the Wales players] for three months.

"With the matches coming up at the end of March, we really did need to get people together and we've had a look at - I think - 15 outfield players.

"I thought young [David] Cotterill looked lively when he came on in fairness to him you know... he got in behind them a few times

"That's what it's all about, when you're given a chance go and take it."

Toshack said he substituted the likes of Bellamy, Ledley and Jack Collison at half-time because they have been playing regularly for their clubs.

That allowed the Wales boss to give more game time to those players currently out of favour at their clubs.

"The fitness levels of some of these lads is not as high as the opposition we were up against," Toshack admitted.

"But over the 90 minutes I thought it was nip and tuck, and could have gone either way."

Ramsey went down heavily late in the match under a strong challenge, clutching his ankle, but Toshack said he believed there was no lasting damage to the Arsenal youngster.



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see also
Wales 0-1 Poland
11 Feb 09 |  Internationals
Bellamy dismisses supporter row
11 Feb 09 |  Internationals
Ledley backed for lead Wales role
11 Feb 09 |  Internationals
'Healthy' Wales encourage Bellamy
10 Feb 09 |  Internationals
Young Collison hails Zola tuition
09 Feb 09 |  Internationals
Country profile: Portugal
23 Oct 09 |  Country profiles
Country profile: Poland
21 Aug 09 |  Country profiles
Pick your Wales XI
05 Feb 07 |  Internationals
Wales' international fixtures
22 Aug 07 |  Internationals
Wales' results archive
10 Oct 05 |  Internationals
BBC Sport Wales coverage
03 Feb 09 |  Wales


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