Artificial pitch will work in our favour, says Wales ace

RISING STAR: Jonathan Williams in action for Wales against the Netherlands in June

RISING STAR: Jonathan Williams in action for Wales against the Netherlands in June

First published in Wales football by

WALES midfielder Jonathan Williams knows more than most the perils of a dodgy pitch and he believes that facing Andorra on an artificial surface may turn out to be a positive.

The 20-year-old Crystal Palace ace broke his leg playing for the Welsh under-21s in Armenia back in 2011.

And having also played in Andorra before he says the controversial 3G pitch, which passed a second UEFA inspection on Wednesday, could be good for Chris Coleman’s men in their first Euro 2016 qualifier on Tuesday.

“I’ve played on a pitch in Andorra before and it wasn’t the best,” said Williams. “It was more mud than grass so the 3G might work in our favour.”

Williams says this campaign will be different for Wales with the top three in the group having a chance to qualify for the finals in France.

“This game is different for Wales because we’re usually seen as the underdog,” he said.

“Everyone expects us to beat Andorra with the likes of Bale and Ramsey fit and it’s important that we go back to Wales with three points.

“With the players we’ve got in the squad I think teams like Belgium and Bosnia will start to take us more seriously and look at us as a threat,” he added.

“We didn’t start the last campaign too well so we’ll be looking to get three points in this game and take that into the two home games.

“We were quite hopeful that we would go to Brazil but for one reason or another we didn’t get the results we needed.

“We’ve got a great chance this time and I think everyone knows that.”

Having slipped down the pecking order at Selhurst Park last season, Williams went on loan to Ipswich Town in February and played 12 games for the Tractor Boys.

There was speculation that he may move on permanently but he is hopeful that the arrival of new manager Neil Warnock in place of of Newport-born Tony Pulis will boost his chances with the Eagles.

“The new manager has always tried to bring young players through and I remember him from when he was at Palace last time and I was 15,” he said.

“A lot of youngsters got their chance so I’m hoping that carries on.

“I signed a new four and a half year deal in January and I hope I can stay at Palace.”

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