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Robert Page: 'Wales have had to overcome a logistical nightmare'

Robert Page: 'Wales have had to overcome a logistical nightmare'
© Reuters
Wales will play in Amsterdam in the round of 16 after having group games in Baku and Rome.

Robert Page admits Wales have overcome a logistical "nightmare" to reach the knockout stage of Euro 2020.

Wales booked their place in the round of 16 on Sunday despite losing 1-0 to Italy in Rome.

The Dragons finished above Switzerland on goal difference to take second place in Group A and now head to Amsterdam where Denmark, Finland or Russia will be waiting on Saturday.

Italy v Wales – UEFA Euro 2020 – Group A – Stadio Olimpico
Wales players and staff members celebrate reaching the last 16 of Euro 2020 with a post-match huddle in Rome (Marco Iacobucci/PA)

Wales are among the nations that have travelled the most miles at Euro 2020, having played their opening two games in the Azerbaijani capital Baku before moving on to Rome.

Interim boss Page said: "It's not been easy because we've had to go to Baku and then travel to Italy. Now we're going to have to go to Amsterdam.

"On paper it sounds like a great idea to have it all round Europe.

"But logistically it is an absolute nightmare – and throw Covid into the mix as well.

PA Graphics

"The team we've got behind us that people don't see deserve a lot of credit.

"Covid makes the job harder. But it is what it is and we have to get on with it.

"We've got to prepare well to give us the best chance for Saturday."

Wales have chosen to stay in Rome before finalising their build-up plans for the round of 16.

Italy Wales Euro 2020 Soccer
Aaron Ramsey (left) has started Wales' three games at Euro 2020 despite coming into the tournament with concerns over his fitness (Alberto Lingria/AP)

Page has no injury issues with Juventus midfielder Aaron Ramsey brushing aside pre-tournament concerns over his fitness by starting three games in nine days.

"There have been questions over Aaron's fitness coming into the camp," Page said.

"To do what he's done, that was his third consecutive game (against Italy), is credit to him.

"I don't think he's played 90 minutes in a couple of years, but he played on Sunday off the back of two massive performances."

Euro 2020 Preview Package
Wales manager Ryan Giggs has been on leave from his position since November (Bradley Collyer/PA)

Page has been in charge since November with manager Ryan Giggs on leave from his position.

Giggs faces court charges of assaulting two women and controlling or coercive behaviour, which the former Manchester United star denies.

The 46-year-old Page was previously Giggs' assistant and his contribution in difficult circumstances has been hailed by Football Association of Wales president Kieran O'Connor.

"Rob has been superb, the players love him, I have never seen so many players laughing and joking at a training session," O'Connor told Sky Sports.

"He plans everything and he has a good team behind him as well. They are all experienced pros who know what they are doing.

"We've become, both as an association and as a country, a lot slicker in the last 10 years.

"We're seeing the progression from the under-15s up to the senior squad.

"The further we go in the competition, the more money we make, the more we can invest in grassroots football and the better we develop.

"In terms of how far we can go, the plan is to win it. We'll go as far as we possibly can."

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Russia's Aleksei Miranchuk celebrates scoring against Finland at Euro 2020 on June 16, 2021
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Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
United StatesUnited States24282173
Olympics flagRussian Olympic Committee13211852
Great BritainGreat Britain13171343
Today's Olympic highlights header

Tuesday's key events

· Team GB duo Jack Laugher - silver medallist in Rio - and James Heatly take part in the men's 3m springboard semi-final (2am), and will hope to qualify for the final later in the day (7am)

· Two Britons are involved in the women's long jump final, but Abigail Irozuru and Jazmin Sawyers have their work cut out to get a spot on the podium (2.50am)
· Norwegian Karsten Warholm, who broke the world record just last month, goes for gold in the men's 400m hurdles final. USA's Rai Benjamin is expected to be his main challenger (4.20am)
· Great Britain have three representatives in the final of the women's 800m, with Jemma Reekie having perhaps the best chance of a medal (1.25pm)
· A mouth-watering women's 200m final sees Elaine Thompson-Herah go for the prestigious sprint double after claiming the 100m crown. Compatriot Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Namibia's Christine Mboma and USA's Gabrielle Thomas are expected to be her main competitors (1.50pm)

· The rescheduled women's skiff 49er FX (4.33am) and men's skiff 49er (5.33am) come to their conclusion, with Team GB involved in both medal races
· Defending champion Giles Scott bids for a second successive gold in the Finn class medal race (6.33am)
· There is another medal chance for Team GB in the mixed Nacra 17 medal race (7.33am)

· Team GB's Joe Fraser takes part in the parallel bars final, kicking off the final day of artistic gymnastics (9am)
· USA superstar Simone Biles, who has been forced to pull out of all of her finals so far, is on the starting list for the beam final as she bids for a fifth Olympic gold (9.50am)

· The men's semi-finals take place, with Mexico taking on Brazil first up (9am)
· The winner of that first semi-final will face either hosts Japan or Spain (2pm)

· Laura Kenny will look to win a third straight Olympic team pursuit gold medal. Team GB take on United States in their heat (7.44am), with the gold medal race later that day (9.26am)
· Laura's husband and fellow Olympic legend Jason Kenny will also look to continue his huge success in the men's team sprint - an event he has won gold in at every Games since 2008. Team GB will first need to get through the men's qualifying (7.58am), with the gold medal race ending the session (9.44am)

· Pat McCormack will be looking to achieve his dream of Olympic gold when he faces Cuba's Roniel Iglesias (11.05am)

> Today's schedule in full
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