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Fear of bookings won't affect our performance, insists Davies

By Phil Blanche

Ben Davies insists Wales are not bothered by the World Cup suspension tightrope that five of their players will be walking against the Republic of Ireland.

Davies joins talisman Gareth Bale, skipper Ashley Williams, Joe Allen and Joe Ledley in being one booking away from missing the trip to Serbia in June.

The Tottenham defender has painful experience of what two yellow cards add up to, having missed the Euro 2016 semi-final defeat to Portugal last summer through suspension.

But Davies says possible bans will be the last thing on the minds of the Wales players at what is sure to be a raucous Aviva Stadium.

"We haven't discussed that (the bookings). But I think everyone's aware what position they are in if yellow cards do come," Davies said.

"You can't let a yellow card hang over you. If you think about it during the game then it will affect your performance on the field. If you get yellow carded you deal with the consequences after.

"It's the next game that's the most important, and it's all about the team. If you have to take a yellow card in the game then so be it."

Davies returns after missing the November draw against Serbia through injury, and Wales are also delighted to call upon Bale and Aaron Ramsey after recent injury scares.

The visitors are unbeaten in Group D but have ground to make up following successive draws against Austria, Georgia and Serbia - and defeat tonight could almost end Wales' interest in claiming top spot.

"We haven't said it's a 'must-win' ourselves," Davies said.

"But we understand the importance of it because we can't drift any further away from the top of the table if we want to qualify.

"All the players know how important this game is, but we've played in big games before.

"We have experience of these games of massive magnitude where we need to get a result."

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