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‘We’ve set down a marker’ – Ben on table-topping Wales

22 Jun

The defender was ever-present as usual as Chris Coleman’s side confirmed their place in the last 16 with a resounding 3-0 win over Russia in Toulouse on Monday night.

The result equalled the biggest winning margin achieved by any team in this year’s competition finals so far and, according to Ben, it served as a real statement of Wales’ capabilities and intentions as they prepare to take further steps in what is their first major tournament since 1958.

“Our target was to qualify but to top the group and put on the performance we did against Russia to get there was unbelievable,” said the 23-year-old, whose side finished the group stage on six points – one ahead of second-placed England – after their victories over Russia and Slovakia.

“It sets down a marker that we are a good side. We felt that we let ourselves down against England (2-1 defeat in the second round of matches last week) and we were hoping to show people what we can really do. The character we showed last night was superb and it was a top performance, so we’re very proud of ourselves.”

Wales will now face the third-placed nation from either Group A, C or D on Saturday in Paris and Ben says there will be no let-up from his side as they bid to make this an even more memorable campaign.

“Getting through was always the scenario we wanted to put ourselves in and what we felt we could achieve, but actually doing it is special,” he added. “We’re going to be confident whoever we play next and we’re excited to be in this situation.

“We obviously want to progress and we’ll be doing everything to try to make that happen.”

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