Skip to main contentAccess keys helpA-Z index

watch listen BBC Sport BBC Sport
Low graphics|Help
---------------
CHOOSE A SPORT
RELATED BBC SITES
Last Updated: Sunday, 3 February 2008, 15:10 GMT
Gatland pleads for Welsh patience
Wales coach Warren Gatland
Gatland admits he did not expect to win at Twickenham
Warren Gatland believes it will take up to two years to transform Wales' fortunes despite launching his coaching reign with a shock win at Twickenham.

"I know from experience with club sides it is going to take 12 months, two years to turn this side into a good side," he told BBC Radio 5 Live.

"Saturday was a starting point but to be a good side we have got a hell of a lot of improving to do.

"It is going to take a bit of time, so don't expect miracles in a few weeks."

Gatland admits Saturday's 26-19 victory over England was a "bonus", and that he would only start to think about Wales' Six Nations championship prospects after the next two games, both at home, against Scotland and Italy.

"We went to Twickenham not expecting to get a win but just wanting to get a performance and a bit of pride back in wearing the jersey so we could say, 'that's a starting point'," he said.

606: DEBATE
BBC Sport's Bryn Palmer
"The next two games at home were always the most important and if we can get results in those, then we will see where we are, reassess and have a look at the championship."

Gatland will await fitness updates on two players forced off against England.

Lock Alun Wyn Jones underwent an X-ray on an ankle injury afterwards that makes him doubtful to face Scotland.

Ian Evans, who replaced him for the final few minutes at Twickenham, would be a likely replacement.

Flanker Jonathan Thomas, knocked out by a challenge from Jonny Wilkinson, is expected to see a neurologist to determine his availability.

Gatland praised the impact made by replacements Gethin Jenkins and Tom Shanklin on Saturday, who both played their part in a stunning second-half comeback.

Gavin Henson weaves past two English tacklers at Twickenham
It was a big feat we achieved and it will give us confidence for the rest of the campaign

Gavin Henson
The Cardiff Blues duo will press for a starting spot, meaning there may be fewer Ospreys players in the team than the 13 that started at Twickenham.

"The hard decision was picking as many as we did, and having the composure to do it knowing that people would comment on it," Gatland added.

"I am not saying that is going to be the case for next week, but I could have easily have taken a bit of pressure off myself by picking two or three others. But I believed that was the right decision for that game."

One of those Ospreys, centre Gavin Henson, certainly justified his inclusion with what Gatland called an "outstanding" second-half display.

"I was struggling in the first half with a sore Achilles and I wasn't sure if I would make it to half-time to see the doctor and get a pain-killing injection," Henson explained.

"I didn't want to go off because I knew we'd come strong in the second half and I didn't want to miss out on that.

"I was confident because we didn't do much in the first half, it was all England and we allowed them to have the ball. We hadn't played any rugby but we still had a sniff at half-time.

"There was a sense of deja vu. When we played France out in Paris in 2005 it was very similar (Wales came back from 15-6 down to win 24-18).

"England played well in the first half and we didn't really have a look-in, which was similar to how France played against us.

"I think we only played well for about 10 minutes in the whole match if you add it all up, but it was enough.

"We tend to make it hard for ourselves but Twickenham is a difficult place to come.

"It was a big feat we achieved out there and it will give us confidence for the rest of the campaign."



SEE ALSO
Ashton dismay at England collapse
02 Feb 08 |  Rugby Union
England 19-26 Wales
02 Feb 08 |  Rugby Union
Red Dragon roars
02 Feb 08 |  Rugby Union
Wales comeback flattens England
03 Feb 08 |  Rugby Union
England v Wales ratings
02 Feb 08 |  Rugby Union
Six Nations photos
02 Feb 08 |  Rugby Union
BBC Sport Wales coverage
07 Aug 07 |  Wales


RELATED BBC LINKS:

RELATED INTERNET LINKS:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

BBC PRODUCTS AND SERVICES
Daily and weekly e-mails | Mobiles | Desktop Tools | News Feeds | Interactive Television | Downloads
Sport Homepage | Football | Cricket | Rugby Union | Rugby League | Tennis | Golf | Motorsport | Boxing | Athletics | Snooker | Horse Racing | Cycling | Disability sport | Olympics 2012 | Sport Relief | Other sport...

Help | Privacy & Cookies Policy | News sources | About the BBC | Contact us | Advertise with us