London (AFP) – Wales caretaker boss Robert Page said Wednesday he has taken full control of preparations for Euro 2020 in the absence of manager Ryan Giggs, who last week appeared in court on assault charges.
Former Manchester United winger Giggs, who stepped aside from his Wales role in November, is due to appear at Manchester Crown Court later this month after being charged with assaulting his ex-girlfriend and her sister and with controlling or coercive behaviour. He denies the charges.
The Cardiff-born former winger was appointed manager of the national team in January 2018 and led his country to qualification for the 2020 European Championship in November 2019.
But the tournament was delayed by 12 months because of the coronavirus pandemic and Giggs has missed the past two international camps.
“Of course they’re difficult circumstances, there’s no hiding away from that,” said Page. “But it is what it is, the situation we’ve been put in, so we’re dealing with it in the best way possible.
“The previous two camps the boys have reacted in a positive way, they’ve not been affected by it whatsoever and I think common sense prevails and it’s a continuity that the players want as well.”
Page revealed he had been in touch with Giggs, and said the former United player had offered his support from a distance.
“It’s great to hear that, but ultimately now the decisions moving forward will be from myself and (coaches) Albert (Stuivenberg) and Tony Strudwick, Tony Roberts and the collective as a group,” Page said.
When asked if Giggs would have any involvement leading up to the tournament, Page said: “No. I had a great conversation with Ryan last week.
“Obviously we’ve been in touch. You don’t go from being friends and work colleagues, working in a close environment, to then not speaking.”
Page added: “Of course I will speak with him. He wants what’s best for Wales. Yes, with regards to decisions and finalising things, that will be me.”
Page has won four of his six games in charge, with the only defeat coming against the world’s top-ranked side, Belgium.
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