Slovakia vs Wales - Marek Hamsik eyes end to Slovakia’s losing run against Wales

Posted Thursday, October 10, 2019 by PA

Slovakia vs Wales - Marek Hamsik eyes end to Slovakia’s losing run against Wales

Marek Hamsik is determined to provide payback to Wales as Slovakia seek to boost their Euro 2020 qualifying hopes.

Wales beat Slovakia 2-1 in Bordeaux at Euro 2016 and came out on top again 1-0 when the two countries met in Cardiff seven months ago.

Daniel James scored the winner on that occasion but former Napoli star Hamsik – who played in both those games – is confident ahead of the Euro 2020 qualifying return in Trnava on Thursday.

“The mood is quite good,” Hamsik said at his pre-match press conference.

“We can’t wait for the game and to interrupt this run of negative games against Wales.

“I don’t like losing and the performances (against Wales) weren’t that bad.

“But the results weren’t good. We need to focus on our performance on the pitch and we need to win.”

Slovakia are second in Group E, a point behind leaders Croatia after last month’s 2-1 victory in Hungary.

Wales are three points behind Slovakia – who are level with Hungary – but do have a game in hand on all their rivals.

“We can get very close (to qualifying) with a win,” said Hamsik, who now plays for Dalian Yifang in the Chinese Super League.

“But we need to have a clear mind.

“We must give it our best, fight as much as we can, and show what we are capable of on the pitch.”

Aaron Ramsey has been left out of the Wales squad but manager Ryan Giggs hopes to have the Juventus midfielder available against Croatia.

Ramsey has remained in Cardiff in order to concentrate on regaining full fitness for Sunday’s game.

Ramsey was withdrawn from warming up at half-time during Juventus’ 2-1 win at Inter Milan on Sunday after feeling what boss Maurizio Sarri described as “a twinge”.

Giggs indicated Ramsey’s absence is a precautionary measure, and said: “He did a bit of training and the physio has stayed back to work with him.

“We are hopeful that he will be available for Sunday. He has a chance.”

Wales trail group leaders Croatia by four points and are three adrift of Slovakia and Hungary.

They have a game in hand on all of their rivals and Giggs knows they must be vastly improved away from home after summer defeats in Croatia and Hungary.

“We need to play better, but the circumstances were different in the summer,” Giggs said.

“Some players hadn’t played for five weeks. You can always lose in football, but it is how you come back that’s important.”

UEFA had originally ordered for the game to be played behind closed doors, with Slovakia fans found guilty of making “illicit chants” during last month’s victory in Hungary, but the sanction was overturned on appeal and 20,000 tickets have been sold.

Giggs said: “We recognise racism is a problem, but I don’t like to pre-empt what might happen. Hopefully we just have a good game of football with no problems.”

Attention: Third parties may advertise their products and/or services on our website.7M does not warrant the accuracy, adequacy or completeness of their contents.
Your dealings with such third parties are solely between you and such third parties and we shall not be liable in any way for any loss or damage of any sort incurred by you.