Wales caretaker boss Rob Page plays down Daniel James’ angry reaction to being taken off against Switzerland


Daniel James was replaced shortly after Kieffer Moore’s equaliser for Wales (Picture: Getty)

Wales caretaker manager Rob Page admits Daniel James was far from impressed after being taken off in the side’s 1-1 draw with Switzerland but insists the substitution was made ‘for the good of the team’ as he looked ‘dead on his feet’.

Kieffer Moore nodded home Joe Morrell’s clipped cross in the 74th minute to cancel out Breel Embolo’s earlier header and Page’s men clung on to come away from Saturday’s enthralling Group A clash with what could be a valuable point.

James provided a threat with his searing pace down the left flank on the counter-attack but was replaced just moments after Moore’s equaliser, with David Brooks coming on in place of the Manchester United winger at the Baku Olympic Stadium.

Unable to hide his frustration, a bemused James could be heard yelling ‘me?!’ at Page before begrudgingly making his way off the pitch to watch the remainder of the match from the substitutes bench.

James was less than impressed after being replaced in Wales’ draw with Switzerland (Picture: BBC Sport)

‘No he didn’t [look happy to be taken off] and it’s for the good of the team,’ Page told BBC Sport shortly after the final whistle.

‘There’s three games in quick succession and he looked dead on his feet and that’s because of the work he put in up to that moment.

‘When you know you’ve got somebody with the quality of David Brooks to come on – we played him on the left to get crosses in coming down the outside for Kieffer to attack – then it’s another option that we’ve got.

‘DJ was disappointed coming off but he’s great in there now and it’s all about the squad.’

Moore equalised for Wales for a smart header in the 74th minute (Picture: Getty)

On his players’ spirited display, Page added: ‘We wanted a positive start and it feels like a win in the changing room. I’m so proud of the players for that.

‘We had to dig deep towards the end, we had a little bit of luck with the offside as well but that’s the start we were after.

‘I wanted a positive performance and I certainly got that.’

Page was delighted with his side’s performance (Picture: Getty)

Page – who is standing in for Ryan Giggs at this summer’s tournament – reserved special praise for Moore and felt the Cardiff striker ‘throughly deserved’ his goal.

‘He’s been terrific at international and club level,’ Page went on.

‘He poses a threat not just because of his presence, he’s got a great touch, his link-up play is very good and he’s a willing runner and it’s a good recipe to have when you’ve got all those attributes as a centre-forward.

‘He thoroughly deserved his goal. Coming into the two friendlies before this, he didn’t need minutes.

‘He’s played week-in, week-out in the Championship so we had to protect him, wrap him in cotton wool a little bit along with some of the other players and he’s given us his rewards today.’


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