BBC SPORT Arabic Spanish Russian Chinese
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX    SEARCH 

BBC Sport
 You are in: Football: Internationals: Wales  
Sport Front Page
-------------------
Football
Teams
Statistics
FA Cup
Eng Prem
Internationals
Champions League
Uefa Cup
Eng Div 1
Eng Div 2
Eng Div 3
Eng Conf
Scot Prem
Scottish Cup
Scot Div 1
Scot Div 2
Scot Div 3
Europe
Africa
League of Wales
Cricket
Rugby Union
Rugby League
Tennis
Golf
Motorsport
Boxing
Athletics
Other Sports
-------------------
Special Events
-------------------
Sports Talk
-------------------
BBC Pundits
TV & Radio
Question of Sport
-------------------
Photo Galleries
Funny Old Game
-------------------
Around The UK: 
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales

BBC Sport Academy
BBC News
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
LANGUAGES
EDITIONS

Saturday, 7 September, 2002, 19:19 GMT 20:19 UK
Finnish flourish delights Hughes
Wales and Tottenham midfielder Simon Davies
Hughes predicts great things for Simon Davies
Wales manager Mark Hughes hailed a heroic European Championship qualifying display from his team on Saturday after they beat Finland 2-0 in Helsinki.

John Hartson set Hughes' side on the way in the 30th minute before Simon Davies sealed a perfect start to the qualifying campaign 18 minutes before the end.

Hughes was full of praise for his players, although he admitted that there was still room for improvement.

"I can sense that the players believe that this is the start of something special," Hughes said.

"It has been a long process over the last two years to get to this stage, but the players have come out the other side with great belief and desire.

"When I took over they were weak mentally, but not now. They can withstand pressure and look a stronger side.

"It is a great dressing room to work with. It is full of strong characters, strong men who have suffered bitter disappointments and experiences in the past.


There are going to be some big nights for us at the Millennium Stadium now
Wales manager Mark Hughes

"Now we hope that we can give them something better. Maybe prior to this game people felt we were an easy team, but now we have surprised a lot of people.

"However, we can play better. The lads know that, but we pat them all on the back."

Although Hughes praised the team performance, understandably there was special recognition for the two goalscorers who helped Wales get their Group Nine campaign off to a winning start.

"Both played really well, and produced performances that played a major part in the victory," Hughes added.

"John has the physical presence to play a demanding role up front on his own to perfection and Simon is becoming a wonderful player with a great future ahead of him in the game."

Hughes can now look ahead to the next match against Group Nine favourites Italy, who arrive in Cardiff's Millennium Stadium on 16 October.

"It sets up the Italy game perfectly. There are going to be some big nights for us at the Millennium Stadium now and we fear no-one.

"We played to a system that is a counter-attacking one, and I feel that is the best for the players we have. We didn't do it too well in the first half but in the second we were very good at it.

"We can then be very difficult to play against because of the pace we have in the team.

"The Finns are a good team but we always had the players with the right mentality and skills to cope."

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
Wales boss Mark Hughes
"We got the job done"
Wales striker John Hartson
"I was due a goal for Wales"
Wales midfielder Simon Davies
"It was a great team performances"

Latest news

Pundit reaction

Recent results

Under-21s

AUDIO VIDEO

STATISTICS
Links to more Wales stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Wales stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

Sport Front Page | Football | Cricket | Rugby Union | Rugby League |
Tennis | Golf | Motorsport | Boxing | Athletics | Other Sports |
Special Events | Sports Talk | BBC Pundits | TV & Radio | Question of Sport |
Photo Galleries | Funny Old Game | N Ireland | Scotland | Wales