Wales must stay focused despite Giggs absence, says caretaker boss


London (AFP) – Caretaker boss Robert Page said Wales must focus on “the job in hand” despite the continuing absence of manager Ryan Giggs as he prepares his team for World Cup qualifiers.

Giggs was arrested on suspicion of assaulting girlfriend Kate Greville in November and missed Wales’s Nations League games later that month.

The 47-year-old former Manchester United winger, who denies the allegations, has had his bail extended until May 1.

Giggs will again be missing from the camp as Wales open their 2022 World Cup qualifying campaign next week in Belgium before hosting the Czech Republic in Cardiff.

The Football Association of Wales (FAW) said last week that he would not be involved in the upcoming international camp. 

But Page confirmed that Giggs was part of the selection process for the 31-man squad for the two qualifiers plus a Cardiff friendly with Mexico sandwiched in between the games.

Asked if Giggs had a played a part in selection and would continue to do so, Page said: “Absolutely, of course. Like he does every other camp.

“All the staff will have input, gather and have conversations about the opposition and the analysis…. It’s the same as November. Business as usual.”

Wales are just three months away from their opening game at the delayed Euro 2020 tournament, against Switzerland in Baku.

But Page said he had had no dialogue with the FAW over who was likely to be in charge for the delayed championships.

“My main focus is on these three games and I’d rather not think about long-term yet,” he said.

“Get these games out of the way and after that we’ll assess the situation again no doubt, and whoever makes those decisions will make those decisions,” he said.

“It’s difficult for Ryan but we’ve got to make sure the focus is on the players. We’ve got to stay focused on the job in hand.”

Aaron Ramsey has been named in the squad, despite missing Juventus’s 3-1 win in Cagliari on Sunday, with reports in Italy suggesting that he would be out for three weeks with a thigh injury.

Gareth Bale, on loan at Tottenham from Real Madrid, is also in the group after enjoying a return to goalscoring form.

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