Williams delighted to be captain

  • Last Updated: October 11 2012, 16:02 BST

Wales captain Ashley Williams admits he was surprised to be asked to lead the side again and has revealed he received congratulations from his predecessor Aaron Ramsey.

Ashley Williams: Reappointed Wales captain

Dragons boss Chris Coleman opted to switch the armband from Arsenal midfielder Ramsey to Swansea skipper Williams ahead of the current international break, in which Wales play a double-header of World Cup qualifiers against Scotland at home on Friday and Croatia away on Tuesday.

Williams, 28, has captained his country on four occasions but after Ramsey had been named as skipper in 2011 at the age of 20, the Swans centre-back did not think he would get another opportunity.

Asked if had believed the armband would come his way again, Williams said: "Probably not to be honest, because I thought Aaron was doing a good job. I was just concentrating on trying to play my best for Wales. So probably not, but I'm happy.

"He (Coleman) asked me if I wanted to do it - he didn't tell me I had to. He called me and said he had spoken to Aaron. Obviously I was over the moon, and he just said we would have a chat when we got to camp."

Asked about Ramsey's reaction, Williams said: "I have spoken to Aaron and he said congratulations. We kind of laughed and that was it really - no big deal. We get on fine."

Wales head into the Scotland clash bottom of Group A having lost their first two fixtures, a 2-0 home reverse to Belgium and then a humiliating 6-1 defeat in Serbia.

Those results last month extended the Dragons' losing streak since Coleman was appointed as manager to five games, including the 1-0 defeat to Costa Rica in the Gary Speed memorial match.

Williams feels Friday night's contest at Cardiff City Stadium is "definitely a must-win match" and has stressed that the players want a victory for their manager, on whom the pressure has been increasing.

Referring to Coleman, Williams said: "After the results I think you are always going to get criticised like that, especially him - being the manager, it is obviously going to fall on his shoulders.

"But I think all the boys really like him and we have enjoyed working with him.

"We really want to win for him as well - I think that is true in this case.

"He is going to be criticised and we would like to turn that around for him because I don't think it's really deserved.

"I think we have kind of let him down on the pitch and we would like to put that right."

Scotland opened their own campaign in somewhat disappointing fashion with two home draws, 0-0 with Serbia and 1-1 with Macedonia.

It means the heat has also been on their manager Craig Levein, although Coleman is adamant both he and his opposite number can handle the criticism.

"Craig is a big boy like me," Coleman said. "We know as soon as you walk in the door, especially if it is an international job, there is more scrutiny on the games because there are fewer of them and less time to get things right.

"It is a nation looking at you. Craig can handle that, the same as I can.

"Once you start looking at the negative side of things, it stops you making decisions and it is finished for you."

Serbia currently top Group A with four points, the same amount that Belgium and Croatia have, while Macedonia have one.

Assessing the situation, Coleman said: "In terms of us doing a bit of damage in this group, then we have to get a win as quickly as we can.

"There is a game tomorrow night, so why not then?

"Scotland are coming down and they are not going to lie down for us - they are under their own pressure.

"They have a good squad and it is going to be a typical British game I imagine - fast, probably aggressive, and with a fantastic atmosphere. We have to try to use that for our own benefit."

Coleman confirmed Gareth Bale, who has been nursing a heel complaint, would be taking part in full training on Thursday, but the manager does not expect defender Adam Matthews (ankle) to be fit to play.