Daniel James: Ryan Giggs says Wales winger was fine to play on against Croatia

Wales winger Daniel James suffered a heavy collision with Domagoj Vida and Borna Barisic of Croatia
Wales winger Daniel James suffered a heavy collision with Domagoj Vida and Borna Barisic of Croatia

Wales boss Ryan Giggs says Daniel James was fine to play on after a heavy collision in Sunday's 1-1 Euro 2020 qualifying draw with Croatia and "passed all the concussion tests".

James needed treatment after an aerial challenge with Domagoj Vida, though the winger says he was not knocked out.

"I say about players being smart... he stayed down, he was fine," said Giggs.

However, brain injury association Headway has criticised the way James' injury was handled.

Headway chief executive Peter McCabe said: "Ryan Giggs' claim that the player was being 'streetwise' by staying down and appearing to have been knocked out is shocking.

"If that is the case and James was acting, it raises serious questions about the player's understanding of the seriousness of concussion.

"Not only has he put his own medical team under intense and unfair scrutiny, but he's also set a dangerous example for the millions watching at home.

"Similarly... it is simply not acceptable for teams to use concussion protocols for tactical gain."

The Football Association of Wales declined to comment on Headway's statement.

After the game Giggs said he was satisfied with the treatment of 21-year-old Manchester United forward James.

"When the physios came over there was no problem, and what you have to do now is do the tests at half-time. He passed all the concussion tests," said the Wales manager.

James confirmed that he had not suffered any serious damage in the first-half clash, despite concern over the incident.

"There were a few tackles flying in but you always expect it in these games," he told Sky Sports after the match.

"I'm fine. I think he just caught me in the head but I didn't get knocked out fortunately."

Defender Ethan Ampadu, who is on loan at RB Leipzig from Chelsea, also suffered a heavy collision in the game in Cardiff and the 19-year-old was unable to continue.

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Ryan Giggs: Wales 'relying on Croatia to beat Slovakia'

The draw with Group E leaders Croatia means Wales are now relying on Slovakia dropping points in their remaining two fixtures if they are to qualify for next summer's tournament.

Wales will need to claim six points from their final two games - in Azerbaijan on 16 November and at home to Hungary three days later.

Despite Sunday's "very physical" game at Cardiff City Stadium that saw eight yellow cards shown by referee Bjorn Kuipers, Giggs said he was fine with the officiating.

"There were a few fouls in the first half where they were maybe not yellow cards, but they were just stopping our flow," Giggs added.

"We would win the ball back looking to counter and they're smart. That's something we need to get better at.

"When you see their two centre-halves get booked early on you want to test them a little bit more."

Midfielder Joe Allen will miss the Azerbaijan game after receiving a late yellow card against Croatia, with James and Kieffer Moore the other Wales players booked.

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