Richards rues Wales U21s slip-ups

Wales U21 captain Jazz Richards admits his side will be left reflecting on what could have been when they face the Czech Republic on Monday.

Last Updated: 09/09/12 at 17:03

Richards: Wales U21s regrets

Richards: Wales U21s regrets

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After suffering a defeat at home to Armenia last month, the young Dragons have no hope of securing a place at the Euro 2013 finals in Israel.

New manager Geraint Williams, for whom the August defeat at the Racecourse was a first game in charge, now takes his side to face the Czechs, the Group Three leaders, to round off the campaign (kick-off 4.30pm BST).

The game was set to be Richards last for the Under-21s, but a late call up to the injury-hit senior side means he will not face the Czechs.

But having led his side through qualifying, the Swansea full-back knows just how desperate his team-mates will be to go out on a high.

He said: "It has been very disappointing not to qualify, there were a few games we went into and should have got wins but we ended up losing.

"Games like Montenegro away and Armenia at home where we were the better team.

"If you look back, you think we should be in with a chance of qualifying, but this is the last game and we want to end the campaign on a winning note.

"We know it will be difficult, the Czechs are the strongest side in the group, I remember playing them at home, they have plenty of quality but I know the boys will want to play our best and get that win."

Stepping into the role vacated by Brian Flynn at such a sensitive stage of the group was not ideal for former Colchester boss Williams, but Richards has seen enough to suggest that he is an astute appointment by the Football Association of Wales.

"He has been really good, the boys are happy with him and the way training is going," said Richards.

"This would have been my last game so I won't know what it will be like going forward, but I am sure he will do very well for the Under-21s in the future."

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