Daniel James backs Robert Page to lead Wales at Euro 2020 if needed

Ryan Giggs has been absent from the last two camps after being arrested on suspicion of assault

Daniel James has backed Robert Page to take charge of Wales at Euro 2020 should Ryan Giggs's position not be resolved by then.

Manager Giggs has been absent from the last two Wales camps after being arrested on suspicion of assault.

Giggs denies the allegations and has had his bail extended until May 1st – just six weeks before Wales start their Euro 2020 campaign against Switzerland in Baku.

Page has won four and drawn one of the six games in Giggs’s absence, with Tuesday’s 1-0 home win over the Czech Republic kick-starting their World Cup qualifying campaign after an opening defeat to group favourites Belgium.


“He’s been unbelievable,” winger James said of Page after his first headed goal in senior football had secured Wales’ victory late on in Cardiff.

“He’s been great and he’s taken the role very well. Him and Albert [Stuivenberg, Page’s assistant] have been unbelievable in getting things across to us. That shows in the game.”

Asked if Page could step up if Giggs remained absent this summer, James said: “Yes, definitely, Whether he’s the manager or not, he’s been such a big part of before when the gaffer has been here. But he’s taken on the role so well. Nothing has changed really.

“He has just been doing the job that he was doing before. He gets the points across to us so well. Him, Albert and all the staff behind him have been unbelievable.”

James acknowledged that Wales could not afford another slip up in a five-team qualifying group which also includes Belarus and Estonia.

The 3-1 away defeat to Belgium last Wednesday had put early pressure on Wales.

But Saturday’s Prague draw between the Czech Republic and Belgium was a positive result for Wales – and their next two games in September are away to Belarus and at home to Estonia.

James said: “It’s a massive win. Going home with one point or no points would have been disappointing for us all.

“We wanted to end this camp on a high, and we needed to do it to keep up with those teams.

“We’re only one point off them [the Czech Republic] now. It’s a big win for us and we keep our heads high.”

One setback for Wales is midfielder Joe Allen faces a race to be fit for the European Championship.

Allen was forced off within six minutes of the defeat to Belgium in his s first international appearance since November 2019.

The 31-year-old Stoke midfielder ruptured an Achilles tendon last March and did not return to action until St Stephen’s Day.

“Joe has got a calf and a hamstring injury, both either side of the knee,” Potters manager Michael O’Neill was quoted as saying by the Stoke Sentinel.

“It’s on the opposite side to where he had his Achilles injury and it’s probably just a combination of a little bit of heavy loading and unfortunately the injury is a little bit more serious than we thought at first.”