Gareth Bale has said Wales are looking to use the ‘euphoria’ they experienced during their first ever European Championship campaign back in 2016, as well as the disappointment of missing out on the last World Cup, as they attempt to take the final step towards qualification for Euro 2020.
Bale’s side face Hungary in Cardiff on Tuesday knowing a win or a draw will be enough to take them to a second successive Euros, having ran as far as the semi-finals before losing out to Belgium in a fairytale story four years ago.
They followed that up with an unsuccessful World Cup campaign in 2018, in which they lost out to the Republic of Ireland, but Bale says the positive memories of 2016 – coupled with the harsh lessons learned two years later – puts them in the ideal mental state, ahead of a huge game for his side.
“We have got the kind of euphoria of qualifying for our first Euros and doing so well at the competition that we really want to do that again.
“We’ve also got the negatives of knowing how it feels to miss out on qualifying for a tournament like we did with the World Cup.
“Looking back on that [Republic of Ireland match] now I think we can use that as a positive.
“We can see how we don’t want to feel after the game. We know prior to this game we can push and push not to feel like that again, because it’s not a feeling you want in the dressing room after the game.”
A win over Azerbaijan, courtesy of goals from Kieffer Moore and Harry Wilson, was enough to put Wales on the verge of qualification, though victory is essential in order to turn dreams into reality.
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