Wales captain Ashley Williams fit for Belgium, says coach Chris Coleman

  • Reuters
  • Updated: Jun 28, 2016 02:39 IST
Wales' coach Chris Coleman and Ashley Williams attend a news conference. (Reuters Photo)

Wales captain Ashley Williams will be fit to face Belgium in the Euro 2016 quarter-final on Friday, manager Chris Coleman said on Monday.

The defender injured his shoulder colliding with team mate Jonny Williams in the 1-0 win over Northern Ireland on Saturday.

Although Ashley Williams stayed on the field, he was seen wearing heavy strapping after the game and there were fears he would miss the match in Lille.

But Coleman confirmed his fitness for Wales’ biggest game since their 1958 World Cup quarter-final with Brazil.

“He’ll be ok, it was the way he landed,” Coleman told reporters on Monday. “He hasn’t dislocated his shoulder. He is not a worry or a doubt. We know we need to look after him.”

Belgium confirmed their place in Friday’s quarter-final on Sunday when they thrashed Hungary 4-0 with a standout performance from Eden Hazard.

But Coleman said they have no particular plans for dealing with the Chelsea midfielder who many of his players compete against in England’s Premier League.

“You can spend a month in defensive situations to try and stop player like that - in a split second he can disappoint those plans,” he said. “He’s a great player.

“We’ve faced him before but we won’t have special plans for one player.

“We know areas he likes to attack and positions to take up – but the fact we know it doesn’t mean we can stop it all the time. I watched the game last night. Yes they are a good team but there’s nothing for us to fear.”

Wales will draw confidence from beating Belgium 1-0 in their Euro 2016 qualifier last year, a result that helped them finish runners up to Marc Wilmot’s side in Group B.

“Belgium have players that would grace any international team, but in four years we’ve had four meetings and won one and drawn two,” Coleman said.

Coleman said his team, who surprised many by finishing top of Group B in France, are enjoying being in the shakedown for a major international tournament.

“I don’t think we can understand it totally because we’re in a bubble. We can only imagine it. It is great for Wales, for the nation, they deserve it,” he said.

“You don’t expect anything in football because it’s a game that can turn quickly, but I know the group we have is very good. You need luck, you need performances at maximum and if you get that you always get a chance.”

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