Speed - Wales players have nothing to lose - International - Football - The Independent

Speed - Wales players have nothing to lose

New Wales boss Gary Speed believes his players will be in a "no-lose" position when they resume their Euro 2012 qualifying campaign against England in March.

The Millennium Stadium clash will be Speed's second game in charge of Wales following a Carling Nations Cup appointment with the Republic of Ireland on February 8.



Although Wales currently prop up Group G, 10 points behind leaders Montenegro after suffering three successive defeats, Speed has no intention of throwing in the towel.



The 41-year-old, today confirmed as John Toshack's full-time successor, admits qualifying for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil is "a big target."



But Flintshire-born Speed, who won 85 caps during a 14-year international career, wants his players to make an impression from the outset of his reign.



"We want to consistently compete on an international basis," said Speed, who quit his role as Sheffield United manager after just three months in charge.



"The England game is going to be tough because they are a good team.



"Results in the group so far haven't been as good as we would have wanted, but in a way that gives us a good chance to start again and wipe the slate clean.



"We haven't had the best start to the group, and all the pressure will be on them (England), as such.



"It's a no-lose situation and it is something which could really kickstart us.



"It's up to me to impress on the players how much enjoyment they can get out of playing for Wales. When you are playing well for Wales, and the team is playing well, there is no greater feeling.



"What we haven't done over the last four or five years is beat anyone of stature, beat anyone who we weren't supposed to.



"In this (Euro 2012) qualifying campaign, can we get into fourth spot, then third spot? It's targets all the way. And if we win the next five games, you never know what might happen."



Speed was only linked with the Wales post in recent days.



Brian Flynn, who had been handed caretaker control for Euro 2012 defeats against Bulgaria and Switzerland in October, Chris Coleman, John Hartson and ex-Sweden manager Lans Lagerback reportedly comprised the Football Association of Wales' shortlist until Speed became available.



After being given permission by the Blades to open talks, Speed's appointment was today confirmed by the 28-strong FAW Council.



It had, as he readily admitted, been a whirlwind couple of days.



"It's something that is very difficult to turn down when your country comes calling," Speed added. "I'm a very proud man at this moment to be asked to be the manager of Wales.



"I was disappointed to leave Sheffield United because I feel I had a job to do there and was fully committed, but obviously when your country comes calling it's a tough decision you have to make. I feel in my heart it's the right one.



"To be fair to them, they've been fantastic throughout and made the decision really easy for me.



"I would like to thank Sheffield United for the opportunity I've been given there, both as a coach under Kevin Blackwell and then as a manager."



Looking ahead, Speed is relishing the task of getting the best out of Wales' young players.



"I think that's the part of the job which I'm really looking forward to," he said.



"The group of players we've got, they are of an age where they can be together for a long time and improve and grow for a long time.



"I'm looking forward to the challenge of putting things in place to try to be successful.



"It's my job to make sure the structure in Welsh football is such that we are consistently competing.



"As a player I've been part of campaigns where we've just missed out, but in between those campaigns there were gaps of eight to 10 years."



Sheffield United, meanwhile, have put Speed's former assistant John Carver in charge while they select their new manager.



United chief executive Trevor Birch told the club's official website: "This has been a difficult decision for Gary.



"We are obviously disappointed, and this would not have been entertained had it been another club side, but having received the approach we felt obliged to give Gary the option of discussing the position with the Welsh FA.



"We didn't want to lose him, but we have to respect Gary's decision given the uniqueness of the opportunity."

News
Paper trail: the wedding photograph found in the rubble after 9/11 – it took Elizabeth Keefe 13 years to find the people in it
newsWho are the people in this photo? It took Elizabeth Stringer Keefe 13 years to find out
Arts and Entertainment
Evil eye: Douglas Adams in 'mad genius' pose
booksNew biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Sport
FootballFull debuts don't come much more stylish than those on show here
News
i100
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Kim Kardashian drawn backlash over her sexy swimsuit selfie, called 'disgusting' and 'nasty'
fashionCritics say magazine only pays attention to fashion trends among rich, white women
Arts and Entertainment
TVShows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Arts and Entertainment
Hit the roof: hot-tub cinema east London
architectureFrom pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
Travel
travel
News
The ecological reconstruction of Ikrandraco avatar is shown in this illustration courtesy of Chuang Zhao. Scientists on September 11, 2014 announced the discovery of fossils in China of a type of flying reptile called a pterosaur that lived 120 millions years ago and so closely resembled those creatures from the 2009 film, Avatar that they named it after them.
SCIENCE
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Matisse: The Cut-Outs exhibition attracted 562,000 visitors to the Tate Modern from April to September
art
Life and Style
Models walk the runway at the Tom Ford show during London Fashion Week Spring Summer 2015
fashionLondon Fashion Week 2014
News
Kenny G
news
News
peopleThe black actress has claimed police mistook her for a prostitute when she kissed her white husband
Life and Style
techIndian model comes with cricket scores baked in
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week