Belfast Telegraph

Wales midfielder Aaron Ramsey keen to brush off Sweden defeat

By Phil Blanche

Aaron Ramsey is relieved Wales can finally focus on their Euro 2016 mission in France.

Wales arrived at their Brittany base on Sunday night after losing their final warm-up game 3-0 to Sweden. The Stockholm setback was Wales' heaviest defeat since 2013, but Arsenal midfielder Ramsey was quick to echo manager Chris Coleman's sentiment that the result means nothing.

"These friendlies always see mixed results, in a way it is good to get that out of the system," said Ramsey. "Now we can look forward to the Euros and show what we are capable of doing.

"We are going to have to play a lot better than we did against Sweden. We know we have to improve, but we are confident we are capable of doing that."

Wales' build-up to their first major finals in nearly 60 years has been far from impressive.

After celebrating securing a place at Euro 2016 with a routine victory over Andorra in October, they have failed to win any of their four friendlies - losing three and drawing one.

Since qualification was achieved Wales have been defeated by Holland, Ukraine and Sweden.

They drew 1-1 with Northern Ireland in Cardiff when Simon Church's last-minute penalty prevented another defeat.

Fellow Euro 2016 finalists Sweden, with skipper Zlatan Ibrahimovic pulling the strings, were emphatic winners at the Friends Arena as Wales mounted few attacks until Gareth Bale's belated arrival.

Bale was protected until the 64th minute with the European Championship opener against Slovakia in Bordeaux on Saturday.

Joe Allen, Joe Ledley and Hal Robson-Kanu were also absent through injury, and Coleman will be hoping that the trio are available for the Group B opener.

Belfast Telegraph