Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Football

Williams aims to end difficult season on high with Wales

The central defender lost his Everton place after being sent off at Burnley in March.

Ashley Williams intends to end a difficult season at Everton on a high with Wales in California.

Williams has not played for Everton since being sent off in a Premier League defeat at Burnley on March 3.

His last taste of senior action came when Wales played at the China Cup in late March – and the 33-year-old central defender will need all his experience to get through Tuesday’s friendly with World Cup-bound Mexico at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena.

bpanews_96a22c54-1f08-41f4-81f6-82e9bc697ee5_embedded236626412
Williams is glad to be back on duty with Wales

“It’s always difficult not being involved and you want to play because playing a game is that bit harder,” Wales skipper Williams said.

“But what can you do? I’ve just tried to stay in shape and I’ll just try and use my experience as best I can against Mexico.

“We’ll see how long everyone plays as that’s up to the gaffer.”

Williams – who came under scrutiny this season after several high-profile mistakes were punished – failed to win back his Everton place under Sam Allardyce after his Turf Moor red card.

bpanews_96a22c54-1f08-41f4-81f6-82e9bc697ee5_embedded236429720
Williams struggled for game time under Sam Allardyce at Everton

But Allardyce’s departure at the end of the season could see Williams’ fortunes change at Goodison Park.

“It has been frustrating, definitely,” Williams said.

“But that season is done now and I’m just looking forward to this game and into pre-season for the next campaign.

“I haven’t played since the Uruguay game (at the China Cup) but I’ve been training every day and trying to keep fit that way.

“I’m just delighted to have met back up with the lads with Wales, as we always are.

“We keep saying it all the time but we have a laugh and enjoy everyone else’s company.”

Wales talisman Gareth Bale is absent following his Champions League final heroics for Real Madrid in Kiev on Saturday night.

Joe Allen, James Chester and Neil Taylor are also missing for one reason or another, but manager Ryan Giggs can call on Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey who missed the China Cup through injury.

“We’ve settled in very well,” Williams said.

“There are great facilities here and we’ve managed to get some very good work done.

“They may be a little bit different to Uruguay, but we’ve been doing a lot of work on them in the meeting room so we’ve got an idea of what to expect.

“They look very good in and out of possession, so we know it’s going to be a very difficult game with them going to the World Cup.

“They’ll be looking to play well and impress their manager before the tournament and we all remember how difficult the last game we had against them in New York was.”

Mexico won 2-0 on that occasion in 2012, and the vast majority in an anticipated huge Rose Bowl crowd will be hoping history can repeat itself.

Daily News Headlines Newsletter

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox.

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph