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Page last updated at 20:02 GMT, Sunday, 23 May 2010 21:02 UK

Wales absences disappoint Toshack

Simon Church feels Wales should have been awarded the opening goal
Simon Church feels Wales should have been awarded the opening goal

Wales manager John Toshack bemoaned the fact that 15 players were missing from his squad for the 2-0 loss in Croatia.

"It's disappointing and unfortunate we had the amount of players missing we have," he said after the friendly.

"We arranged this game with the [Euro 2012 qualifier] Montenegro match in mind in September because it will be a similar type of atmosphere.

"To lose the first goal right on half-time was disappoining and in the second half we were stretched numbers-wise."

Wales have just one more friendly - at home to Luxembourg on 11 August - before the start of their Euro 2012 campaign in Montenegro.

I thought it was a publicity stunt when I read [about Ryan Giggs' possible return]

John Toshack

Ivan Rakitic and Drago Gabric goals saw classy Croatia overcome a dogged but depleted Wales in Osijek.

Toshack blooded five new caps in his already-youthful side, but even so paid no heed to unlikely rumours of an international comeback for Manchester United veteran Ryan Giggs.

"I thought it was a publicity stunt when I read [about Giggs' possible return]," said the Wales boss.

"I haven't heard anything from Ryan or any of the other players who have retired. We haven't had a call from anybody regarding that."

Toshack's opposite number Slaven Bilic paid tribute to efforts of Wales in making life difficult for his side.

"In the first half we made many mistakes but in the second we were much better and much faster," he said.

"We won with great power. Wales are not technically at the highest level but they play great British football.

"They were good running forward and played well through the middle."

Toshack added: "We had a few chances and there was a [disallowed] goal - I don't think anyone would have complained too much if it had stood.

"There were one or two useful counter-attacks and we defended quite resolutely."

It's another step for us and a learning experience

Wales striker Simon Church

Striker Simon Church looked to have got the touch in the disallowed Wales goal, but the Reading front man was unwilling to claim it.

"I didn't actually touch it in the end, but I didn't think it was offside, it was a clear goal," he said.

"It's a tough defeat. We set out our game plan to be quite defensive and to hit on the break.

"We managed that a few times, but they are a top-class team and it showed.

"It's another step for us and a learning experience. It's great to have five new caps."

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see also
Croatia 2-0 Wales
23 May 10 |  Welsh
Wales' sporting weekend in photos
20 May 10 |  Wales
Giggs plays down Wales comeback
26 Mar 10 |  Welsh
Pick your Wales XI
05 Feb 07 |  Welsh
Welsh football history
25 Mar 10 |  Welsh
Wales' international fixtures
22 Aug 07 |  Welsh
Wales' results archive
10 Oct 05 |  Welsh
BBC Sport Wales coverage
03 Oct 11 |  Wales
Croatia country profile
23 Jan 12 |  Country profiles

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