Daniel James: The Welsh winger says the Euro 2020 experience made the team ‘thirsty’ for the World Cup qualifiers | Football News


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Daniel James ’experience at Euro 2020 has made the winger more determined to come to the World Cup, as the new boy from Leeds looks to end the year with a blow for the club and the state.

A dramatic goal-trick, Gareth Bale, broke the 3-2 victory over Belarus on Sunday in Kazan, hoping to qualify for Qatar 2022.

Few expect to escape with Group E other than Belgium given their quality, but Wales believes they can usurp the Czech Republic and qualify through the playoffs.

Robert Page’s team will move to second place if they beat Estonia on Wednesday, and James, who made his tournament debut in the summer, is confident he can make it to his first World Cup since 1958.

“I think just the Euro experience just makes us a little more thirsty to go and qualify for the World Cup,” he said.

Wednesday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m.

It starts at 7:45 p.m.


“It’s going to be a little harder with the teams and obviously less qualified, but it’s one as a team that we fully believe we can.

“We get a lot of positive out of the (euro). I don’t think most people thought we were going to get out of the group and we totally believed we could.

“Don’t get me wrong, we were very disappointed after we passed that group to get out like that (defeat by Denmark 4-0 in the round of 16), but that’s what we’re going to learn from, take a lot out of it because it was big a great tournament for the boys, including me.

“We are just excited about the arrival of these World Cup qualifiers, because, as I said before, the experience with the Euro only makes us even more eager to qualify for the World Cup.”

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Highlights from the qualifying group E match for the World Cup in the Group E match between Wales and Belarus

James has big months ahead of him as he looks set to play a key role on Wales ’trip to Qatar as he begins a new chapter at the club level, after completing the deadline for moving from Manchester United to Leeds.

“I have to do my best,” said Yorkshire-born James. “Now it’s just enjoying the next chapter of my career and the way it’s evolving.

“Obviously I have my personal goals that I keep to myself, but I’m looking forward to it. I’m excited to learn, to learn this new system, and I hope to contribute to the team.”

James fondly remembered playing Leeds as a young man in Hall and could hardly wait to get out on Elland Road — something he would have done two and a half years ago had he not failed the winger deal.

The whites kept the interest and Marcelo Bielsa finally got his man, and the 23-year-old is excited to learn from the Argentine.

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Robert Page gives his reaction to Sky Sports after Gareth Bale brought the late winner to see off Belarus

“I think, as you can see, the players who have played with them since the championship have all progressed as players,” James said.

“If you ask them, they will definitely say it.

“Obviously I talked to Tyler (Roberts) and he learned so much that maybe not even him is spoken to, it’s the kind of sessions he did. Not only does he learn from speech, but also visually.

“It’s time for me. I’m 23 and I’m 24 now, but at the end of my career, towards the end, I still want to keep learning every day and I think it’s important to do that.”

Leeds have set aside £ 25 million to sign James, but the player does not expect to enter the line-up.

“I haven’t talked to anyone about (my position), but I’m happy to be able to play anywhere on the team,” he said.

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Former Wales striker John Hartson is “confident” that Page’s page will be able to finish second in the World Cup qualifiers

“I will not enter and expect to enter the team because it is a great group of players, who play very well.

“But I think everyone on the front-line team can play anywhere, so yes, for me I’ve played most of the positions – striker, left, right – and I’m happy to be able to play any of them.”

That hunger and humility means James received warm wishes, not abuse from Manchester United fans when he headed across the Pennines to join rival Leeds.

“I had a great two seasons there,” he added. “I learned so much, I played with great players.

“The manager (Ole Gunnar Solskjaer) brought me in and he trusted me completely and I will always thank him for that.

“I had a great time there, wonderful memories, but it’s a new chapter in my career now and something I’m really looking forward to.”


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