Williams: Plenty to play for

  • Last Updated: March 25 2013, 7:44 GMT

Captain Ashley Williams insists there is still hope for Wales and their World Cup ambitions after their victory over Scotland.

Ashley Williams: 'We just need to keep picking up points'
Ashley Williams: 'We just need to keep picking up points'

Ashley Williams

5. Ashley Williams

Title Number
Appearances 36 (1)
Goals 2
Assists 0
Yellows 3
Reds 0
*Current Season

The Dragons opened their Group A campaign with just one win from their first four games but after beating Scotland 2-1 in Cardiff last October, they then repeated the trick on Friday night at Hampden.

The victory, secured with an Aaron Ramsey penalty and winner from Hal Robson-Kanu, moves Chris Coleman's team up to third place, where they are seven points behind joint leaders Belgium and Croatia.

The Croatians now visit Swansea on Tuesday and Williams insists that, while the stakes are mounted high against a Welsh win, securing a ticket to next summer's finals in Brazil is still achievable.

He said: "It keeps it alive for us. We have never said we could do anything after the start we had but we have always got that hope.

"We just need to keep picking up points. There are plenty still to play for.

"We are on a decent run of form, which bodes well. We did well in the friendly the other day, so we have got two wins on the trot now.

"Scotland are a good team, and to go there on a night like Friday was massive. It showed the character of the team that we were able to come back from a goal down.

"But we just need to keep it going. We have got Croatia on Tuesday and that will be another tough one."

Wales secured victory after fighting back from Grant Hanley's opener for the Scots in first-half stoppage time.

Ramsey levelled from the spot after Robert Snodgrass felled Chris Gunter in the box to collect his second booking.

With a one-man advantage, the visitors were able to make use of the extra room by finding Andy King down the right and his centre was perfect for Robson-Kanu to head home the winner.

Ramsey was sent off in stoppage time for his late tackle on James McArthur but Wales had done enough to secure victory.

The fact their second-half recovery was achieved without the assistance of 25-goal Tottenham forward Gareth Bale - who limped off at the break due to ankle problems and a virus - was another satisfying factor for Swansea defender Williams.

He said: "It was a very important win for us. We need the points and there was a little bit extra riding on the game because it was against one of the Home Nations. It was massive.

"But we showed we can cope without Gareth. He dug in at Hampden and gave it a go but you could see he wasn't himself. He tried for 45 minutes but it wasn't right.

"But after that we came through and no-one can say we are a one-man team.

"We were a goal down and came out for the second half without him. But we got the result and everyone played their part."

For much of the first half in Glasgow, Wales' passing and movement was a joy to behold.

The hosts, however, were able to eventually gain a foothold in midfield which they used to steady themselves before Hanley scored his first intentional goal.

It did not last for Strachan's men as Wales established their command but Williams now wants to see his side boss proceedings for the full 90 minutes when the Croatians visit.

He said: "That's the best I've seen from a Wales team. That is us at our best. That is how we want to play.

"We kept the ball well and didn't let Scotland settle on it. We won it back early and that is what we are supposed to do.

"We dropped off a bit towards the end of the half and they scored but in the second we controlled it pretty well.

"If we can play like we did for the first 25 minutes for a full game, we'll be a match for anyone."

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