Robert Page praises Gareth Bale after captain lead Wales to victory | Euro 2020

Robert Page praised Gareth Bale’s character after the Welsh captain recovered from a penalty shoot-out to put his country on the verge of qualifying for the Euro 2020 knockout stage.

Bale missed a chance to double Wales’ lead but put in goals for Aaron Ramsey and Connor Roberts to secure the decisive 2-0 win over Turkey.

Wales have four points from two Group A games before taking on Italy in Rome on Sunday.

“We won’t win the game without his two assists, it’s that simple,” said Page. “He [Bale] showed a tremendous amount of courage to respond positively to the penalty shoot-out and that speaks a lot about him as a man.

“I think it’s unfair to put on the pressure of ‘Oh, he didn’t hit’. Only he could have come in with his left foot and play that ball to Aaron [for the opening goal].

“And in the end only he would have thought and had the speed and the strength to get past the defender from a short corner and do what he did for Connor.” [Roberts] break up. It’s not just about scoring goals, it’s about being a team player and setting goals. He definitely did. “

In addition to recognizing the brilliant achievements of Bale and Ramsey, Page also pointed to the togetherness of Wales as a key factor behind the win in Azerbaijan, where Turkey was cheered on by 30,000 supporters, including many locals.

Aaron Ramsey sends the ball to Wales' first goal in a 2-0 win over Turkey in Baku.Aaron Ramsey sends the ball to Wales’ first goal in a 2-0 win over Turkey in Baku. Photo: Naomi Baker / AP

“I’m the happiest Welshman,” said Page, the interim manager. “I am so proud to be part of this team. I also have a great coaching staff behind me that deserves a lot of credit.

“We have a lot of players who don’t play national football week after week. What is it? Is it the crest on her chest that makes her want to raise her game? It must be. It plays for Wales. It’s powerful and anyone would walk on broken glass to get into this troop. The credit goes to the players. “

Bale said his longstanding relationship with Ramsey was key to their formidable play on the pitch. “It’s been there for many years,” said the 31-year-old forward.

“We have been doing this for a while. We always play for the jersey, we work hard as a team and it was great for him that he got us off to a good start. Hopefully we can continue to play well for the rest of the tournament. “

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