AS A youthful Wales side tore into Slovakia in the glorious Spring sunshine on Sunday it was easy to be seduced by the idea of a bright new era dawning for the national side, but history has taught us it’s unwise to get carried away where Welsh football is concerned.

The performances from the youngsters throughout the team – from Connor Roberts, James Lawrence and Chris Mepham at the back, to Matthew Smith in midfield and Harry Wilson, David Brooks and Daniel James in attack – were hugely encouraging.

And, thanks to James’ stunning strike, Wales earned a vital victory to set them up nicely for the rest of the Euro 2020 qualification campaign.

It was a big win in the context of the group and leaves Ryan Giggs’ men in an excellent position – level on points with Slovakia, Croatia and Hungary with a game in hand on all three – ahead of June’s away double-header in Croatia and Hungary.

The fact that the three points were achieved without Arsenal star Aaron Ramsey and the likes of James Chester, Ethan Ampadu and Tom Lawrence also highlighted the welcome depth that Giggs has added to the squad with his trust in the young talent coming through.

And, painful as it is for many to see the heroes of Euro 2016 being replaces, it has to be a positive to see the manager building towards a future without the likes of Ashley Williams and record cap-holder Chris Gunter.

Williams expressed his frustration at being dropped, but he welcomes the introduction of fresh blood into the squad.

And he insists that the youngsters have proven over the last 12 months that they are capable of making their mark at international level.

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“There weren’t many caps in our team, bar a few players,” said the captain. “So all the minutes they can get are important for them going forward.

“We are speaking a lot about the young lads, but it's the whole group they are in.

“We don't need to keep talking [about] whether they are ready. They've proven they can play and they are doing well for their teams every week. They've done the business.”

They certainly did do the business on Sunday, and newly-crowned Wales player of the year Brooks rejected the idea that the young starting XI against Slovakia was a risky move by Giggs.

“I don’t see any of the boys as inexperienced,” said the AFC Bournemouth winger.

“They all play for their respective clubs and they’re obviously doing well to get the call-up.

“When the team went up, I wasn’t thinking that we were going to be in any danger in the game. Everyone really showed their qualities.

“DJ [Daniel James] is probably one of the most inexperienced ones but he showed his quality.

“He was probably the standout performer and he got the goal that got us over the line.

“We all know his pace and what he brings to the table and he used that to its full force.

“I think there’s a lot of energy and quality at the top of the pitch. DJ was the standout performer this time, but it could easily be someone else in the next game. It’s exciting times.”

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Exciting times? Undoubtedly, but every Welsh football fan has seen enough false dawns to last a lifetime and it’s obvious that Giggs’ team are far from the finished article.

Defeats to Spain, Denmark (home and away) and in Albania at the end of last year provided a reality check after the superb 4-1 demolition of a poor Republic of Ireland side in Cardiff last September and had many fans questioning if Giggs was the right man for the job.

Sunday’s win has got most people on side again and looking forward with optimism and, with the top two teams in each group qualifying, we should be confident.

But let’s not assume that another Euro adventure next summer is guaranteed.

Sunday’s win did not come without a few scares in the second half and, but for some fine goalkeeping from Wayne Hennessey, the Slovakians could easily have nicked a precious point.

The closing stages of the match brought to mind several matches in the 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign under Chris Coleman when points were squandered against Georgia in Cardiff and home and away against Serbia.

Thankfully, the class of 2019 got over the line to seal a crucial three points. But there are sterner tests ahead in the next two games.

Four points from Croatia and Hungary in June will have everyone believing.