Wales boss will help Liverpool protect Woodburn

Date published: Friday 8th September 2017 8:56

Wales boss Chris Coleman insists he will work with Liverpool to protect Ben Woodburn and not rush him into the Wales starting line-up too soon.

But given the incredible impact he has had in less than an hour of football, there is definitely a case to start Woodburn when Wales’ World Cup hopes go on the line in next month’s final qualifiers against Georgia and the Republic of Ireland.

“These youngsters, even Ben, have it all to do because I know how tough it is to stay at the top level in this industry,” Coleman said.

“It gets harder, but he’s got a great attitude. We have to protect Ben and give him guidance, hence why he didn’t start against Moldova.

“He’s used to working with really good defenders every day at Liverpool. But there’s nothing that prepares you for a 90 minutes out there, it’s completely different.

“He’s very young and we have to take it slow unless we’re forced to – and then we’ll have to be careful.”

Coleman added: “We are going to be choosy with when we use him, but he’s a good young talent that’s for sure.”

Woodburn has not been part of any Liverpool matchday squad this season, and it remains to be seen whether the Reds will sanction a loan spell for the striker to get game-time.

Coleman continued: “It will be up to Jurgen and Ben on how far or close he is to the first team.

“What we’ve seen is that he is a very bright player and he’s certainly shown enough with us again.

“Whatever is the next six or 12 months will be up to Jurgen and Ben himself.”

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