Nations League: Wales 'not distracted' by Denmark chaos, says Ryan Giggs

Wales manager Ryan Giggs has gathered his squad in Cardiff ahead of their Nations League games
Wales manager Ryan Giggs has gathered his squad in Cardiff ahead of their Nations League games
Uefa Nations League: Wales v Republic of Ireland
Venue: Cardiff City Stadium Date: Thursday, 6 September Kick-off: 19:45 BST
Coverage: Live on BBC Radio 5 live, Radio Wales and Radio Cymru, the BBC Sport website and BBC Sport app, plus live text commentary.

Ryan Giggs says turmoil in the Denmark squad will not distract Wales from Thursday's Nations League opener with the Republic of Ireland.

Wales are set to face a much-weakened Denmark on 9 September due to a dispute between the Danish Football Association (DBU) and senior players.

Manager Giggs says Wales' attention is beating the Republic before Sunday's game in Aarhus.

"What sort of team we'll face we don't know," said Giggs.

Denmark's national team players have been locked in a contractual dispute with the DBU with temporary coach John Jensen, the former Arsenal midfielder, taking charge.

The 24-man squad is without any of the players who reached the last 16 at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, or any Danish Superliga or First Division players.

Instead players from the Danish third tier, fourth tier and even futsal players will make up the squad for a friendly with Slovakia on Wednesday and against Wales on Sunday.

Giggs admits the situation is "strange" and says he is monitoring the situation, aware they could face a team of unknowns, but insists his focus is on the Republic of Ireland.

"There's a bit of me thinks they'll sort it out but every day that looks more and more unlikely - but we've got a big game tomorrow so all my concentration is on that," said Giggs.

"I'm keeping an eye on the situation but the concentration is on tomorrow's game. I'll deal with that after the Republic of Ireland game."

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Denmark players 'getting to know each other'

"I don't know the details but it's unusual, They are a top 10 team and did well in the World Cup.

"The last couple of years, their form has been brilliant. As a football player you just want to play football but if you feel you're not getting a good deal, or the federation think the opposite, you want to get it. You think it would have been sorted by now, but it's not.

"It's not ideal (for the competition). The problem the Danish Federation have got is they've got to put out some sort of team because they could be banned for four years if they don't.

"What do they do? The Super League teams aren't releasing their players and they've got a dilemma. It's unique."

Pre-match nerves

The game against the Republic marks both Giggs' first home game and first competitive match in charge since replacing Chris Coleman in January 2018.

It comes against opponents that denied Wales a place in the summer's World Cup following a 1-0 win for Martin O'Neill's side in Cardiff in October 2017.

Giggs has overseen three friendly fixtures so far, a 6-0 win over China, a 1-0 defeat to Uruguay and a 0-0 draw with Mexico.

The former Manchester United midfielder admits there will be a pride as he prepares to represent his country on home soil for the first time since retiring as an international player in 2007.

"It will be a proud moment for me," said Giggs.

"I'm excited but recognise this will be a tough game.

"In their last six competitive away games they've not been beaten so we're up against a team that will work hard and make things difficult.

"I can't wait, the same as I was as a player but I'll be more nervous as a manager.

"The preparation has been good, I'm pleased with the way things have gone, everyone's fit so there's not much more I can ask for."

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