Euro 2016: Gareth Bale 'can't be perfect all the time' - Ashley Williams

Gareth Bale: Winner one of my best headers
Euro 2016 qualifiers: Wales v Israel
Venue: Cardiff City Stadium Kick-off: 17:00 BST, Sunday, 6 September
Coverage: Live on BBC Radio 5 live, BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru and online.

It was a night on which Welsh sporting dreams began to be realised.

It was tight, tense and seemingly destined for a draw until Gareth Bale rose to the occasion to head in their Euro 2016 qualifier winner against Cyprus. It means the men in red are on the verge of qualifying for Wales' first major tournament since 1958 and a win against Israel on Sunday will do that.

Here are the thoughts of some of those who battled alongside Bale to put them on the cusp of reaching Euro 2016 in France.

Gareth Bale - he's not perfect

Gareth Bale scored during a live Newyddion 9 broadcast

So says captain and defender Ashley Williams: "He didn't have his best game, you know, to his standard - a lot of things didn't go for him and he can't be perfect all the time.

"But [it was] an unbelievable goal. I don't think anyone else in the squad would have scored that. He jumped so high.

"When he's on the pitch, he can always do that for you."

Tottenham Hotspur defender Ben Davies: "It was a great header, but it's nothing we as players haven't come to expect from him, really."



Swansea skipper Williams: "We would like to do it at home [for the fans].

"I thought they were unbelievable with their support again… they made a lot of noise and they really backed us and we needed it again at times.

"I even heard my name being sung!"

Williams' fellow defender BenDavies: "It was unbelievable to see that many Welsh fans over here (Cyprus)."

Reading's ex-Cardiff City defender Chris Gunter: "Hopefully if we do our jobs, then we can join in with everyone [celebrating] on Sunday."

History-makers in waiting

Wales coped with everything in Cyprus, says boss Chris Coleman

Ashley Williams: "Hopefully. That's what we've worked so hard for over the last few years.

"It isn't done yet, so until it is done - that's when we'll celebrate.

"I've said it before, it would be my proudest achievement to lead this unbelievable group of lads to France and it's still the same.

"You can't help but think about the final whistle going and winning - that'll drive us on a little bit more and I'm sure we'll enjoy it if and when that happens."

Showtime on Sunday

Arsenal's midfielder Aaron Ramsey: "We know what's on the line for Sunday so hopefully we can have that opportunity and put on a bit of a show to gather the three points.

Gareth Bale, Chris Gunter and Aaron Ramsey
Gareth Bale, Chris Gunter and Aaron Ramsey are likely to be in France next summer

"It would mean the world to me to qualify.

"Hopefully [we'll] be a bit better with the ball than we were tonight… we're in a great position to do it."

The Welsh way

Ex-Swansea player Ben Davies: "Sometimes we have to grind results out and that's what we did.

"As a back five we wanted to keep a clean sheet and we did. Luckily we've got the quality up top to get us games.

Ashley Williams
Ashley Williams joined Swansea from Stockport County in 2008

"We've been in situations, all of us really, where we've had games where we have to win, but never really to take us to that promised land.

"It's going to be tough. It's going to be nerve-wracking, but we can't wait."

Former Cardiff defender Chris Gunter: "We've never been in this position of being one game away from qualifying.

"I think every game as we've gone through the group has been bigger and bigger and I think we've dealt with it really well.

"Believe it or not through the week, we haven't once talked about the points we need or what's to come.

"We have just focused on performing. If we perform well, then we feel that the results will come and that's been the case so far."