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Last Updated: Thursday, 27 May, 2004, 20:03 GMT 21:03 UK
Hughes lauds young battlers
Wales manager Mark Hughes
Wales manager Mark Hughes was keen to praise his inexperienced squad after they fought out a 0-0 draw with an in-form Norway in Oslo.

"Each and every one of them put in a performance to be proud of," he said.

"Norway are on a fantastic run, but we played the better football all night and matched them in all areas.

"We lost a significant number of senior players, but the lads coming in have done marvellous. It just sums up the spirit in the camp."

Hughes felt that the demands of a long, hard season told on his side towards the end.

James Collins impressed on his debut
While we are not big in stature we are big in character
Mark Hughes
"Some were struggling in the closing stages, but we put in everything to keep them out," Hughes told BBC Sport Wales.

"Norway are a big, powerful side, but while we are not big in stature we are big in character.

"That last five minutes is what we are all about."

Bournemouth midfielder Carl Fletcher, who was making his first start for Wales, was equally impressed with the team's determination.

"It was a lot of hard work, but I was just delighted to be out there and to get that result," he told BBC Sport Wales.

"There were a lot of withdrawals, but the team pulled together and showed what they can do against a strong Norway side.

"It's a pleasure for me to be in this squad, it's just given me a taste for more."






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