International news: Wales manager Chris Coleman pleased with young side
Last Updated: 05/06/14 4:22pm
George Williams: Fulham striker, 18, played the final 20 minutes of Wales' friendly defeat to Holland
Wales manager Chris Coleman was encouraged by the performance of his young side in their 2-0 defeat to Holland in Amsterdam.
Coleman was without star players such as Real Madrid's Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey of Arsenal, forcing several of the more junior members of the squad into the spotlight.
Liverpool's Joe Allen captained the side in central midfield and Fulham youngster George Williams caught the eye with a debut cameo up front after coming on for the final 20 minutes.
Emerging players such as James Chester, Emyr Huws, Jonathan Williams and Declan John also got some valuable game time, to put Coleman in confident mood for the European Championships qualifying campaign.
"I am happy with all of them. I think they were all brave," he said.
"It was nice we got young George Williams on the pitch and gave Emyr Huws more experience, more experience for Declan John and Jonny Williams.
"They are babies really, very young. It is a shame we couldn't get Tom Lawrence on, but that is the way the game panned out.
"There were loads of positives for us. In the last two years we have had a lot of players missing and we are trying to better that.
"If we do better and get more consistency, I am 100 per cent convinced it will be a fruitful campaign for us."
Holland did not dominate Wednesday night's game and only scored their second goal 14 minutes from time in a match which Coleman feels will be a good template for the forthcoming qualifying campaign.
Wales have not qualified for a major tournament since 1958 but they are confident they can do so in 2016 as the tournament has been expanded and with Bale and Ramsey in their team.
Their group also includes Belgium and Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Coleman feels his team should go into those games with their confidence enhanced by this week's Holland game.
He said: "When we have got Gareth Bale or Aaron Ramsey in the team we are meant to play exciting, attacking football all the time. But it is not like that, football.
"What we showed when we didn't have the ball was courage and we worked hard. We denied Holland as much as we could.
"It will be the same when we play Belgium and Bosnia, and Andorra at times. We were good when we didn't have the ball. They did the ugly, horrible jobs.
"We have got a lot of good players to come back into it and they have got to show the same mentally.
"It is a tricky time of year to have a friendly but we are not going to not have a friendly in case we get pull-outs.
"We have got an important duty to make sure when we are representing Wales against the Hollands, then whoever is with us is with us.
"That is how we are going to get better, go forward and get momentum. We are representing Wales and it is a chance to play Holland. It doesn't get any tougher but it was a great performance."