Toshack ready for tough test

Wales boss curses injuries ahead of World Cup qualifier

Toshack: Bemoans cruel luck

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Wales coach John Toshack accepts his young squad will face a 'very tough test' against Azerbaijan.

Toshack is without a string of senior players as Wales look to record their third win in World Cup qualifying Group Four.

Azerbaijan have yet to score in their four fixtures, but Toshack believes his promising youngsters will not have an easy time of it on Saturday.

"Stronger Wales squads than this have had problems in Baku," said Toshack. "This is a very tough test for these youngsters.

"But losing Premier League players like Collison, Evans and Bale has hit us hard.

Cruel luck

"It is cruel on the lads and typical of the cruel luck we have had to contend with for years.

"It was always going to be tough here, but it is even harder now. But these youngsters know that in the future if they want to have long careers and achieve things, then they are going to have to handle games like this.

"If they want to win things, they have to cope with difficult places like this."

At the age of 22, Joe Ledley is one of the more experienced members of the team and the Cardiff City midfielder will captain his country in Azerbaijan.

Ledley said: "We are missing a lot of players for this one, and I find myself now captaining a side with young players who are less experienced than me and are looking for leadership.

"I suppose I will be expected to look after them, but I'm sure I can handle it.

"I certainly feel honoured to be captaining my country at my age, and skipper of these players who I have grown up with. It is something you dream about and I just hope I can do a good job."