Ryan Giggs doubters must 'eat their words' says Wales' Joe Allen

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Reaching the Euros 'special' Ramsey

Joe Allen believes manager Ryan Giggs has made his critics "eat their words" after leading Wales to Euro 2020.

Giggs was not a universally popular choice to succeed Chris Coleman - who led Wales to the semi-finals of Euro 2016 - in January 2018.

The 45-year-old was also criticised over selection and tactics after Wales' defeats in Croatia and Hungary early in the qualification campaign.

"He'd had stick but he has delivered, simple as that," midfielder Allen said.

"Any way you get there is huge success, and I think a lot of people are going to have to eat their words.

"He came in off the back of a great manager who had huge success and it was always going to be tough, but he has got us there.

"I think questions have been asked of everything really - selection, tactics - but nine times out of 10 he has got it right.

"That is one of the big reasons we have made it. He has done the job, the ambition and target was to get to the Euros."

Wales took eight points from their final four qualifiers, with Tuesday's 2-0 home win over Hungary sealing their second successive appearance at the Euros - and just their third appearance at a major tournament finals.

Joe Allen (R) celebrates Euro 2020 qualification with Wales team-mates Aaron Ramsey and Gareth Bale
Joe Allen (R) celebrates Euro 2020 qualification with Wales team-mates Aaron Ramsey and Gareth Bale

Stoke City's Allen, alongside the likes of Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale and Juventus midfielder Aaron Ramsey - who scored both goals against Hungary - is among the survivors of the side who reached the last four in France in 2016.

The 29-year-old, who fell just short with Wales in their 2018 World Cup qualifying bid, has played a crucial role in the current campaign and excelled in a holding role on Tuesday night in Cardiff.

"We didn't want to be a flash in the pan, a one-hit wonder if you like," Allen said.

"That World Cup disappointment has spurred on a lot of people. A lot of us are getting older and we realise how precious these chances are.

"The players who have done it before were motivated to get there again and we've banged on to the young lads how good it was.

"I think they were sick of hearing about it and want to see what it's all about."