Wales captain Ben Davies says the team “never stopped believing” as it prepares for decisive Euro 2024 qualifiers against Armenia and Turkey.
Last month’s stunning 2-1 win against World Cup semifinalist Croatia reignited Welsh hopes of qualifying automatically for the finals in Germany next year.
Tottenham defender Davies, stand-in skipper for the injured Aaron Ramsey for that match and for the upcoming double-header, gave a rousing speech after the Croatia game.
“It was backs against the walls stuff, it was showing that people doubted us again but we’re still standing,” he said on Monday.
“We’re standing up against the challenges and here we are with two games to go still in the fight. We never stopped believing in this group. The mindset we’ve got is we can get a result against anyone. We’ve shown that.”
Wales reached the 1958 World Cup finals but failed to qualify for another major tournament until the Euro 2016 in France.
It is now aiming to reach its fourth tournament in five attempts leading up to Saturday’s away game in Armenia and a home match against Turkey three days later.
Automatic qualification for Rob Page’s men, now without the retired Gareth Bale, had looked improbable after a 4-2 defeat to Armenia in Cardiff in June followed by a 2-0 loss in Turkey.
“Growing up it was a dream of Welsh football to be going to these major tournaments. That dream still exists and this is another huge chance we’ve got. We don’t want to sit on the success and say ‘OK, we’ve been there and had a nice time’. Once you get a taste of it you want to do it again. That’s exactly where we are as a group this time.”