Wales captain Ashley Williams has voiced his aggravation at getting dropped for the opening Euro 2020 qualifier against Slovakia.

Manager Ryan Giggs place veteran defender Williams on the bench and paired inexperienced centre-halves Chris Mepham and James Lawrence for the 1- Group E win in Cardiff on Sunday.

Gareth Bale wore the armband but Giggs mentioned Williams – who came on in the final quarter to win his 85th cap and draw level with Gary Speed as his country’s third-most capped player – remains Wales’ captain and is “part of the plans going forward”.

Stoke City v Leeds United – Sky Bet Championship – bet365 Stadium
Ashley Williams has lost his spot at Stoke and not began a initially-group game there for almost two months (Dave Thompson/PA)

But Giggs admitted Williams discovered it tricky getting dropped for such an vital fixture, saying: “You’re in no way going to take it nicely.”

On his omission, the 34-year-old Williams mentioned: “He (Giggs) explained it. He’s the manager and he tends to make the choices.

“It is frustrating but he’s the manager and you go with it.

Ryan Giggs File Photo
Wales manager Ryan Giggs says veteran skipper Ashley Williams remains element of his plans (Nick Potts/PA)

“It’s about the squad and when you are known as upon. It is generally been that.

“Obviously it is disappointing not to play, but you just have to be prepared when necessary to attempt and get it more than the line.”

Williams, who turns 35 in August, is in the final months of his Everton contract and is set to leave Goodison Park this summer season.


The former Swansea centre-half has spent the season on loan at Stoke and produced 31 appearances for the Sky Bet Championship club.

He has not began for Stoke considering the fact that a two- league defeat at Hull on February two, despite the fact that he did play an hour of Wales’ friendly victory more than Trinidad &amp Tobago in Wrexham final Wednesday.

“It’s frustrating that I’m not playing at Stoke, but I’ll just attempt and retain performing the greatest I can,” Williams mentioned.

“I want to play and I’ll function challenging and get back in the group, similar right here (with Wales) as nicely.

“It’s some thing that occurs to each and every footballer at some point. I’ve been fortunate that it hasn’t occurred up to me till now, but whatever’s necessary, I know only one particular way to go about my business enterprise.

“That’s to go to function each and every day and that is what I’ll continue to do.”

  • 85 caps won by Ashley Williams is the joint third-highest total by a Wales player

Giggs fielded an inexperienced side against Slovakia with seven of the beginning line-up getting won fewer than 10 caps.

Only Bale, Ben Davies, Joe Allen and Wayne Hennessey have been in the squad that reached the semi-finals of Euro 2016 in France.

But Williams insists that the youngsters – which includes Swansea match-winner Daniel James – have established that they are capable of producing their mark at international level.

“There wasn’t numerous caps in our group bar a couple of players,” Williams mentioned. “So all the minutes they can get are vital for them going forward.

“We are speaking a lot about the young lads, but it is the complete group they are in.

“We do not want to retain speaking (about) no matter whether they are prepared. They’ve established they can play and they are performing nicely for their teams each and every week. They’ve accomplished the business enterprise.”