Melville becomes confidence man

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The Independent Online

Wales have yet to win a World Cup qualifier in Group Five, a situation Andy Melville expects to be rectified on Saturday as Armenia visit the Millennium Stadium.

The 33-year-old Fulham defender will win his 47th cap and because of injury to the captain, Gary Speed, may wear the armband for the match. Wales duty comes as a welcome change from the new-found pressures of the Premiership for Melville, and he believes that Mark Hughes' band can break their habit of drawing games.

"We have threatened a lot in this group but ended up drawing a lot," he said. "We should have beaten Armenia away. Their equaliser was a shock goal, so we are looking forward to going one better this time."

Melville, born in Swansea, has played for his country for almost 12 years, but is just becoming acquainted with life among the élite at club level. He said: "It's gone really well – we have started fine. Manchester United away was a good performance even though we lost, and three points from Sunderland showed what we can do.

"As long as we know and understand that it's going to be very hard this term then we will be okay and not get over-confident."

He added: "People must not get carried away. We have come a long way in a short space of time and we have to make sure first and foremost that we are still in the Premiership come next May. Anything else is a bonus after that.

"I can't say we are going to finish in the top six because reality tells you it's going to be a lot harder than that."

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