Giggs seeking strength in depth after emphatic opening win
Wales beat China 6-0 with Gareth Bale breaking the country’s goalscoring record.
Ryan Giggs insisted there would be no let-up in his new Wales regime after marking his first game in charge with a 6-0 thrashing of China.
Gareth Bale’s record-breaking hat-trick, a Sam Vokes double and a goal for birthday boy Harry Wilson saw Wales cruise through in Nanning to set up a China Cup final date with either the Czech Republic or Uruguay.
It was an impressive start to the Giggs era, albeit against timid Chinese opposition, but the former Manchester United star is determined to raise the competitiveness in his squad.
“We want to get that strength in depth,” Giggs said.
“Sometimes that has been an Achilles heel, if we have two or three players out then we struggle. We don’t want that any more.
“We want a competitive squad. If someone is missing through injury or suspension then we have someone to come in.
“There were some really good performances, Declan John was outstanding and it was a great night for a lot of individuals.
“That’s what we want, players looking over their shoulder.
“I was brought up in an environment where training was sometimes more difficult than the games and that is the kind of atmosphere that I want to generate.”
Bale fired Wales ahead at the Guanxi Sports Center within two minutes and had added his second before the first quarter was up.
Vokes’ first and a terrific Wilson strike – the midfielder scoring on his 21st birthday and on a night when he won his second cap more than four years after becoming Wales’ youngest-ever player – made it 4-0 by half-time.
It was six by the 62-minute mark as Vokes added another and Bale completed his first Wales hat-trick, in the process becoming his country’s record goalscorer by eclipsing Ian Rush’s 28-goal mark.
“It is a tremendous achievement for Gareth, to be the top goalscorer in front of someone like Ian Rush – a legendary goalscorer and probably one of the best I have ever seen,” Giggs said.
“Probably once upon a time it was a record that many people thought would not get beaten.
“But Gareth has not only beat it, he will carry on scoring as he is a tremendous talent.
“It’s a fantastic moment for Gareth, he fully deserves it, and I saw things we can work on.
“We only had two days to prepare and it was difficult because of the travelling.
“But I was delighted and it was great to see Chris Gunter become the most-capped outfield player. That is a great achievement for Chris.”
China boss Marcello Lippi was shocked by his side’s performance.
“Losing the match is not unexpected because we know the opponent is a very strong team,” said Lippi, who guided Italy to World Cup glory in 2006.
“But what I did not expect was the performance of the team and that is my responsibility.
“In one month I will be 70 years old and I still work as head coach because I love this job.
“But I need to see the good spirit of the players – and when you don’t see this mentality and spirit it is going to be very hard.”