Ricketts On A World Cup Mission

Sam Ricketts speaks about his aim to reach Brazil 2014 with Wales

Sam Ricketts is confident that he can be part of a Wales team that will prosper under the guidance of Chris Coleman and qualify for a World Cup for the first time since 1958.

Following Bolton’s fixture at Hull City, the defender linked-up with his international team-mates in preparation for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers which begin this weekend.

Wales have been pitted in Group A alongside Belgium, Serbia, Croatia, Scotland and Macedonia as they bid to reach Brazil in 2014.

Whilst admitting they have been handed a tough draw, Ricketts is confident that boss Coleman can carry on the encouraging progress that had been made by previous manager Gary Speed.

Ricketts said: “It’s a tough start with Belgium at home and Serbia away, but if we can get one or two good results from that then it will give us a buoyancy going into the next round of qualifiers.

“We have got as good of a chance of qualifying as we have had for many years, although we know it is going to be hard. Belgium beat Holland 4-2 in the last set of international matches.

“The manager has carried on a lot of the work that was done before and he has brought in his own ideas too. 

“When Cookie (Coleman) came in, he identified how well we were doing and he didn’t really want to change too much. 

“We were doing well and wholesale changes weren’t needed. Within that though, we are learning off him and he is learning off us as well.

“The results haven’t quite gone as we’d hoped in the last few friendlies but that can be a benefit as we identify the weaknesses and work on them in the aim to get back to winning ways.

“We have got top world-class players in our side, so there’s no reason why we can’t get the results.”

Adam Bogdan is also set to be involved in World Cup qualifiers, with Hungary playing Andorra and Holland over the next week.

Elsewhere, Chung-Yong Lee is in the South Korea squad as they set out on their campaign to reach Brazil in two years when they face Uzbekistan. 

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