Wales boss Gary Speed sees positives in defeat

Wales manager Gary Speed

Gary Speed says Wales' spirit in defeat by England was encouraging

Boss Gary Speed hopes Wales will one day see their 2-0 Euro 2012 qualifier loss to England in a positive light.

He said Frank Lampard's early penalty was a body-blow, but praised Wales' "mental strength" after Darren Bent scored.

Speed said: "[Hopefully] we keep that spirit that we saw in the second half and keep trying to play football - I think it's very, very encouraging.

"The positive is the way we played in the second half."

Lampard put England ahead after only seven minutes following James Collins' foul on Aston Villa team-mate Ashley Young.

Speed said: "It was obviously a disappointing start. We're a young team and haven't won many games recently and to go a goal behind... was a body-blow.

"And it took us the rest of the first half to recover from that.

We're not always going to play against teams as good as England so we learned from what we saw

Wales boss Gary Speed

"Heads went down a bit and confidence was a bit shot, but to come back in the second half and show the spirit that we did and play like we did and kept trying to get on the ball was very encouraging."

Speed's reign began with a 3-0 Nations Cup defeat by the Republic of Ireland, but he regards that as irrelevant.

He said: "Hopefully one or two years down the line when we're a better team, we'll look back and say we learned a lot from that [England game].

"It's a tough task. The Republic of Ireland game, I've scrubbed it off really because we only had one day together before that.

"But we've done a lot of good work on the training ground this week and England are a fantastic team, they're in the top six in the world.

"We're not always going to play against teams as good as England so we learned from what we saw today.

"And [hopefully] we keep that spirit that we saw in the second half and keep trying to play football - I think it's very, very encouraging.

"The positive is the way we played in the second half, the way we didn't throw the towel in and the way we kept mentally strong, really and the players kept trying to play football, trying to get on the ball.

"We didn't create too many chances, but neither did they second half. Obviously everyone's disappointed with the result.

"But hopefully in a couple of years' time we can look back and say, 'well, we learned a lot from that England game'."

Speed also defended his decision to name David Vaughan on the bench as Andrew Crofts and Joe Ledley teamed up in midfield.

"I just thought Crofty and Joe Ledley have been excellent this season," said Speed.

"I thought Crofty was excellent again today. It was just one of things - at international level there are a lot of good players who don't play and you have to make difficult decisions.

"Vaughny's had a great season and he was unfortunate not to get the nod, but those are the decisions I've got to make."