RYAN GIGGS will have NO input when Wales kick-off against the USA Thursday night.
The Dragons boss is on bail for alleged assault and misses the Swansea friendly as well as the Nations League double-header with Ireland and Finland.
Caretaker Robert Page has spoken to Giggs in the planning for the fixture and says he is a ‘phone call away’ but the 41-cap defender and his coaching staff will be in total charge at the Liberty Stadium.
Page said: “We have been with the players day in and day out and we have seen them train so it will be impossible to pick a team that you are not really having eyes on so a lot of influence will come from the staff here.
"Ryan will have access to the games but it’s important that while we are there we just focus on the game.
“We will have conversations before the game and try to anticipate how things are going to go. There will be a plan in place and hopefully that goes to plan.
“I know Ryan is a phone call away if I need to speak to him if we get injuries or anything like that. Other than that it's down to myself, Albert (Stuivenberg), Tony Strudwick, Tony Roberts.
"There is enough experience in the coaching staff to be able to go and get through these three games.”
Page confirmed Giggs has not addressed the Welsh players but the ex-Watford and Sheffield United defender says his message to Gareth Bale and co has been passed on through him.
The 46-year-old added: “I spoke to Ryan before camp so we know the message we want to send. We addressed the players at the start of the camp and we have been very impressed with their attitude in training.
Wales’ possible lineup vs USA
Ward; Gunter, Lockyer, Rodon; N Williams, Morrell, Smith, Norrington-Davies; Matondo, T Roberts, James.
“It’s been exactly as it was when Ryan was on camp – nothing changes. Ryan is not here as a presence but I've not seen any sign that they have taken their foot off the gas.
"It was just a message of, 'All the hard work that we have done for the last couple of years to put us in this position now where we are two games away from having some success then let's not lose focus on what it is all about'.
"The biggest thing for us to keep this momentum going. We can't take our eye off the ball.”
Page says leading his country will be the highlight of his career but does not believe the America friendly is an audition for the job if Giggs’ assault case drags on.
Giggs was arrested on November 1 on suspicion of actual bodily harm and assault of his then girlfriend. He denied all the allegations.
Page said: “Absolutely not. I've been asked to step up to the plate and to finish the job Ryan started. That's what I intend to do."
Charlton defender Chris Gunter will captain Wales and win his 98th cap while Tottenham's Bale is set to be rested ahead of the upcoming crunch Nations League ties.
Source: Read Full Article