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Cymru boss Rob Page balances South Korea friendly with critical Euro 2024 Qualifying clash

CYMRU boss Rob Page concedes that the forthcoming friendly against South Korea is a fixture he’d rather do without as he endeavours to reinvigorate his side’s Euro 2024 qualifying campaign. Despite the formidable challenge posed by South Korea, Page is strategically focused on Cymru’s crucial clash against Latvia on Monday, knowing that their hopes of advancing from Group D hang in the balance following consecutive losses, including a surprising 4-2 defeat to Armenia.

In his quest to thwart South Korea’s star player, Son Heung-Min, Page is turning to Tottenham’s Ben Davies, who is well-acquainted with the South Korean forward. He emphasises that Thursday’s friendly will serve as an opportunity to rectify Cymru’s defensive shape. Page acknowledges the tough task ahead, stating, “He’s a wonderful player. He’s world-class. So we know we’re up against tough opposition. But it’s going to be an opportunity to put right our defensive shape, and we’ll need it.”

Despite the potential benefits of a good workout for his squad, Page admits that the friendly is overshadowed by the importance of the Latvia match. He emphasises the need to manage players’ minutes and prioritise their physical condition for the crucial encounter, saying, “It’s about getting players off the pitch unscathed and then preparing ready for the big game on Monday.”

Regarding player selection for the South Korea friendly, Page indicates that he will be cautious and mentions that captain Aaron Ramsey and Brennan Johnson may not feature due to their recent playing time and minor injuries. He observes, “Again it’s about looking at the amount of minutes Aaron’s played. That one takes care of itself. He’s played the most football he’s played for a long time. So I think that’s an obvious one… There will be minutes he’ll get that will be factored into all about Monday.”

Page’s intense focus on the qualifying campaign comes amidst mounting pressure and criticism, but he remains determined and optimistic. He highlights the positive response in training and draws inspiration from past successes, particularly the result against Croatia in March. He states, “We’ve shown in the past we can do it, and it’ll be no different this time. We’re after a positive result and performance on Monday.”

In summary, Cymru boss Rob Page faces a challenging friendly against South Korea while keeping an eye on the crucial Euro 2024 qualifying match against Latvia. Page’s strategic approach, player management, and determination to bounce back from recent setbacks underline the high stakes of this international camp.