Gabbidon looks to future after Wales' poor display

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The Independent Football

An embarrassed Wales returned home from Cyprus yesterday with the new captain, Danny Gabbidon, saying such defeats "should never happen again".

Even if it was a meaningless friendly, as the Everton manager, David Moyes, had claimed when withdrawing Simon Davies from the squad, it was the nature of Wales' inept display in the 1-0 defeat - John Toshack's fifth reverse in nine games in command - that surprised critics and fans.

"We have been playing well, but this time it didn't happen," Gabbidon said. "We must make sure that we never turn in a performance like that again. It has to be a lesson for us. Our standards are a lot higher than that and hopefully the next game will be better.

"We are all disappointed and embarrassed by the performance. We have taken a step back with this performance after winning the two previous games and playing well.

"It is hard to say why it went so wrong. We defended OK but just couldn't click going forward. They were hungrier, they passed the ball a lot better and they wanted it more. We just didn't perform the way we can.

"We still have 10 months before the European championship qualifiers start, we must look at it that way."

The only bright spot of the night was an outstanding international debut for 21-year-old Ipswich goalkeeper Lewis Price. His athletic and brave display avoided a total humiliation.

"Lewis played well," said Gabbidon. "He made some magical saves. He should be very pleased and proud of his performance."

Price will now get an extended run to show he can be Wales' goalkeeper for the future and solve one of Toshack's problems.