Giggs defends decision to rest Bale amid disappointed Wales fans

By Dafydd PritchardBBC Sport Wales at the Racecourse Ground
Gareth Bale in Wales training
Gareth Bale is Wales' record goal scorer

Ryan Giggs says he understands why some Wales fans were disappointed that Gareth Bale was left out of Wednesday's friendly win over Trinidad and Tobago.

Wrexham's Racecourse Ground was sold out for Wales' first match in the north since 2008.

But some supporters were left disappointed as Giggs fielded a second string team ahead of Sunday's opening Euro 2020 qualifier against Slovakia.

"Of course it's disappointing for the fans," said Giggs.

"They want to see the likes of Gareth. But it's my job to make sure we are ready for Sunday.

"Gareth got his first 90 minutes in three months [for Real Madrid last weekend], took part in a little bit of training yesterday, then trained this morning, really well.

"So it was just too much of a risk with Sunday in mind. That was the case with a few of the players. I gave the chance for players to push forward for Sunday, but also keeping players fresh."

Arsenal's Aaron Ramsey missed the game with a thigh problem and Bournemouth's David Brooks was absent with an ankle knock, with Harry Wilson and Connor Roberts left on the bench.

Giggs said: "Originally when I planned the game, it was going to be a first-half [at full strength] and then we make changes.

"But Brooksy took a knock at the weekend on his ankle, Harry has played a lot of games, Connor has played a lot of games. Aaron picked up that little knock. It gave me the opportunity to look after them at the start of the week."

Manager Ryan Giggs praises Wales' match winner Ben Woodburn

As Giggs made wholesale changes to his side to face Trinidad and Tobago, an unfamiliar looking Wales team struggled to impose themselves on their opponents ranked 93rd in the world.

Former Wales captain Kevin Ratcliffe, who was a part of the BBC Radio Wales commentary team for the game, said in the first half: "It's looking like a bunch of players that have been thrown together, not knowing when to pass it."

Wales had an escape in the second half when Chris Gunter cleared off the line from Trinidad and Tobago's Aubrey David.

But they improved and eventually forced a winning goal two minutes into added time as Ben Woodburn chested the ball in from close range.

"The performance, first half especially, I was really pleased with," said Giggs.

"We had a couple of days to work on a few things and felt we did that in the first half without that final third composure, without making the right decisions and having a bit of quality.

"Trinidad and Tobago didn't have anything. But I reminded the players at half-time about Albania [where Wales lost in November]. It was exactly the same in Albania, so we had to keep that clean sheet.

"We rode our luck a bit in the second half. Obviously Gunts made a fantastic clearance off the line. Credit to Trinidad and Tobago, in the second half they made it difficult for us. We just had to be patient.

"To score late in the game is a great trait for teams to have, so I'm really pleased with the result."

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