Spurs defender: Now it’s our turn to make Wales proud by qualifying for Euro 2016
- Credit: Archant
Tottenham’s Ben Davies says the Wales national team are relishing their opportunity to emulate their rugby counterparts by making their nation proud and having an impact on the world stage as they stand on the verge of qualification for Euro 2016.
Wales have not reached the finals of a major football tournament for 57 years, but they top Group B ahead of their last two qualifying matches.
Davies, Gareth Bale and co travel to face Bosnia and Herzegovina on Saturday and then host Andorra – who have lost all eight of their games so far – on Tuesday.
Wales only need one point from those two games to secure an historic success. And, having seen Warren Gatland’s rugby team beat host nation England at Twickenham to book their place in the knockout stage of the World Cup, Davies and his team-mates are looking forward to having their turn.
“It’s always nice when you see Wales do well in anything and I’m sure I speak for all the boys [when I say] we’re definitely proud of the Welsh rugby team and the way they’ve performed in the last couple of weeks,” said Davies.
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“It’s a massive week ahead of us. We’ve put ourselves in a situation where we’re one point away from qualifying, so we’ve given ourselves every opportunity.”
Wales are one point ahead of Belgium in Group B, giving Davies the chance to get one over on his Spurs team-mates Jan Vertonghen, Mousa Dembele, Nacer Chadli and Toby Alderweireld.
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But the left-back said: “I think it would be nice if both of us could qualify. As a Welshman if we’re first or second, as long as we get there we’re happy.”
Davies goes into the international break after a confidence-boosting start to the season with Tottenham, having got the nod for seven of the opening eight Premier League fixtures.
That is already close to his total from last season, when he only started nine top-flight games after arriving from Swansea, with most of his opportunities coming in the cup competitions.
“Especially as a full-back, it’s nice to be in the team to be able to try and get a level of consistency, and I’ve felt I’ve shown that over the last couple of games,” said Davies.
“It’s always difficult to come in and out of the team at any stage of your career. It’s a nice feeling to feel settled now and I think my performances show that.”
Davies has been part of a much-improved Tottenham defence which was breached too easily and too often last term but currently has the joint-best record in the league, having shipped seven goals in the opening games.
The only disappointment is that two of those came against his former club at the Liberty Stadium on Sunday – a game he felt Tottenham deserved to win.
“It’s nice to feel like we’re solid as a back four going into games,” he said. “In the past we might have lost games like the one at Swansea, when we went behind, but we had to grind it out and that’s what we did and we’re happy as a back four.
“I think we had opportunities where, even though we did come from behind, we dominated periods of the game and created lots of chances, so it did feel a little bit like two points dropped.
“But we’re playing confidently and if we can go into games looking for three points and being disappointed when we don’t get that, it’s a good feeling to have going into games.
“We’ve put a good run together now and it’s about having a break and coming back ready to go at it again. Going into the international break with the run we’ve had, it’s a good feeling around the place.”
Follow me on Twitter @BenPearceSpurs