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Ricketts keen to avenge Serbia rout
Published : 07 Sep 2013 15:46:55Rss feed
Sam Ricketts saw his 50-cap landmark ruined by defeat in Macedonia as Wales' faint hopes of World Cup qualification ended, but has urged them to refocus and target revenge on Serbia on Tuesday.
The 31-year-old Wolves defender brought up his half-century of appearances for the Dragons in Skopje, but had few reasons to celebrate as Chris Coleman's side subsided to a 2-1 defeat at the Philip II Arena.
The loss means any slim hopes of reaching the 2014 finals have been extinguished and it came at the end of a week where Wales have found themselves firmly in the spotlight; firstly through Gareth Bale's world record move to Real Madrid and then Coleman's failure to locate his passport.
It was hardly a fitting way for Ricketts to bring up a notable career achievement, and he admitted he was hurting.
"To win 50 caps is brilliant on a personal level but more than anything I wanted to mark it with a win," he said.
"We controlled the game well enough to get that win but it did not materialise. It feels a bit raw to be honest.
"We did the things we wanted to do but maybe we did not test their keeper enough. Apart from that I thought the performance was generally of a good level but we are bitterly disappointed to have lost.
"But we know if you perform to that level you will win more games than you lose.
"We controlled it and frustrated them and it showed in how many cards they got and how they were complaining to the referee."
Coleman has made it clear he wanted his side to finish the Group A campaign strongly in order to try to secure third place and a favourable draw ahead of the qualifiers for the expanded Euro 2016 tournament in France.
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