Wales will right wrongs of Cyprus, says Hennessey

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The Independent Football

Wales' players admit they have "taken on board" the harsh criticism from their manager, John Toshack, during the last international double-header.

Toshack criticised their lack of commitment and "pampered" lifestyles after last month's defeat in Cyprus. Now the squad are back together for the Euro 2008 qualifiers against the Republic of Ireland in Cardiff on Saturday and the trip next week to face Germany in Frankfurt.

The young goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey, who missed those last two games in Cyprus and San Marino due to injury, said that his colleagues had accepted the tongue-lashing and were aiming to put things right. "Everyone accepts that the performances were not that good, and some of what the boss said was understandable," he said. "But the lads have taken that on board and are determined to put things right in the next two games.

"The training has been really sharp this time around, everyone has been really on form and firing. Some of the lads have questioned themselves and had a chat about things, but they all want to turn in a better display this time around."

Wales fans subjected their team to abuse during the San Marino game, which they won 2-1, and Hennessey added: "We all want to impress and we want to get the fans back on side. The lads said there was a bit of stick in San Marino, so we all owe them a performance now."

Hennessey's Wolves club-mate Freddy Eastwood played against Cyprus and was on the bench in San Marino, and he also concedes that it is up to the players to put things right.

He said: "We have to go out and be a better side than we were in those last two games, there is no question about that. Previously we had done well, then the Cyprus game came along and we were poor. Now we aim to bounce back and show what we are made of.

"The Irish will be good, and they also have a point to prove because they haven't qualified either."