Church praying Wales can still qualify for Brazil 2014

CONFIDENT: Simon Church insists Wales can bounce back

CONFIDENT: Simon Church insists Wales can bounce back

First published in Sport South Wales Argus: Photograph of the Author by

SERBIA V WALES (World Cup qualifier, tonight, KO 7.30)

READING striker Simon Church insists Wales can and will bounce back from their World Cup qualifying defeat to Belgium.

Wales made the worst start possible in a competitive Group A, beaten 2-0 and under the cosh from the moment James Collins was sent-off.

And Church, who qualifies for Wales through his Newport grandparents, insists the players are itching to re-establish some momentum in Serbia tonight.

“There were a lot of positives to be taken from the performance on Friday night if not from the result,” he said.

“We are lucky we have the chance to put it right straight away. We don’t have to wait for a month, or three months or six as you sometimes do in international football, we can go right back into things now and put it right in Serbia.

“Belgium represented a tough challenge but we can take the positives out of it and move on.

“It’s only one game, we’ve got enough quality in our squad to win away in Serbia and we know we need something from it.

“Hopefully we can get the result and then it’ll put a different complexion on things.”

Church admitted there was anger in the camp at Collins’ dismissal.

“The decision to send off James Collins was a bit shocking in my opinion, I certainly didn’t agree with it and I thought we shut down well after that, we were unfortunate to give away two goals,” he said.

“Everyone is disagreeing with the decision but there is nothing we can do about it now. James is gutted and we feel for him.”

Church played in an unfamiliar role on the wing on Friday but is willing to do the same again tonight.

“I am happy to play wherever I am put, be that up front or on the wing or in midfield,” he said.

“Obviously it’s different to what I am used to but I am a player who will always do my best for the team. I enjoy playing for Wales so much... I’ll happily play anywhere I need to for the team.”

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