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Speed keen to build on Norway win
Published : 13 Nov 2011 07:46:49
Wales manager Gary Speed is slightly disappointed his side's World Cup qualifying campaign does not start now after seeing them make light of the furore over player availability for the Olympics by claiming a handsome 4-1 friendly win over Norway in Cardiff.
The result, courtesy of goals from Gareth Bale, Craig Bellamy and a late Sam Vokes' double, was Wales' fourth win in their last five games, and marked the first time they had strung together three victories in a row since 2008.
"In terms of momentum (it is a shame they are not starting now)," said Speed.
Hopes are high that the Dragons will be able to launch a genuine bid to qualify for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil after being drawn in a negotiable Group A which also includes Croatia, Serbia, Belgium, Scotland and Macedonia.
And Speed admits it is a shame those fixtures will not get under way until August given the head of steam his side have built up. But the former captain believes there is still plenty to come from his young squad.
"I still feel we are not quite there yet, we still have lots to learn," he said. "But I think we will learn a lot in terms of how we coped when they came back in the game.
"Hopefully the games between now and the World Cup campaign will help us improve even more."
Speed praised how his side had closed out the game after Erik Huseklepp had capitalised on a Wayne Hennessey fumble to bring Norway back to 2-1 just after the hour mark.
"It wasn't as easy as 4-1," he said. "We know we have so much going forward we can always create and score and today there were four fantastic goals. For 20 minutes we were the best side, we then got complacent and stopped doing things that had got us 2-0 up.
"We gave away a bad goal, but we kept our shape and were solid, and when you are as good as us going forward you always have a chance and the two goals at the end were outstanding."