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Latest news - May 1999.
 Squad in buoyant mood.
The squad flew out on Sunday night in determined mood for Saturday’s Euro 2000 qualifier with Italy in Bologna.

Captain Gary Speed knows we cannot afford any more disasters. We face Italy on Saturday and Denmark at Anfield four days later, a couple of bad results and we're struggling to qualify again.

Gary Speed remains confident about qualification and thinks it is a real possibility this time. Paul Jones agrees and says that spirits are high and finds reasons to be cheerful for Saturday's big test.

"What Gary Speed said:"
"In the past, we've let ourselves down"

"We've just got to make sure we don't let it happen this time."

"There's a glimmer of hope, but we've got to make sure we grasp the opportunity and don't let it slip through our fingers again."

"If we get a couple of bad results we're struggling to qualify again and it's another competition gone down the pan."

"The most disappointing thing about our result in Switzerland was that if we'd played anything like we know we can, we'd have won"

"With all due respect to Switzerland, they weren't the best team we've played, though they were better than us on the night."

"We've got to pick ourselves up for these next two games. If we go to Italy and get something, that will push the confidence right up going into the Denmark game."

"It would mean everything to qualify. We haven't qualified for anything since 1958."

"We've experienced in the past that the support is there for the country if we're doing well, and we've just got to hope we can do it."

"There's light at the end of the tunnel"

"We've been going through a bad patch for a couple of years and didn't seem to be getting anywhere."

"But we had a couple of good results in Denmark and against Belarus, and we're more optimistic now than we've been for a couple of years."  

"What Paul Jones said:"
"Obviously the Italians are a class outfit but, if we can defend properly and make life difficult, we might be able to sneak something at the other end"

"The mood in the squad should be buoyant because, apart from Mark Hughes and me, who ended the season on a high with Southampton, there are the Fulham lads who won the Second Division. And Ryan Giggs will be flying after completing the treble with Manchester United."

Monday, May 31 1999.

 Bobby Gould interview.
The countdown has begun to latest Euro 2000 qualifiers, which begin with a visit to Bologna to meet Italy on June 5th

Four days later, on June 9, Gould will be at Anfield where we meet Denmark. Gould's reign as Welsh manager would surely have ended if his we had not beaten the Danes 2-1 in October.

After those two victories we where cast as slight favourites when we went to Switzerland in March, now after tasting defeat in a poor performance we are again considered as underdogs, which Gould insists is how his players prefer it.

"Bobby Gould's record :"

Played Won Drawn Lost Goals for Goals against
23 7 4 12 32 43

"What Bobby Gould said :"

"The team had been written off and so had I before that night in Copenhagen."

"No one gave us a prayer. Everyone seemed to be writing my obituary. I was going - on my way. On death row."

"But we pulled off a win and then beat Belarus at Ninian Park. Suddenly, I was a football manager again instead of someone people had written off as dead meat.

"There was mass hysteria before the Denmark game and I was the bad guy. But that experience makes you stronger and prepares you for anything - even playing Italy away from home where, again, no one will give us a chance."

"We went to Zurich with people expecting us to win, which was an odd experience for my players away from home,"

"I could sense it was asking a few questions of them on the morning of the game."

"They didn't react well to it and maybe Welsh teams are like that. They prefer it if they are written off and have their backs to the wall."

"The trick is to get players to win consistently and then be able to handle the surge in the level of expectancy of the public."

"We are a small country with small resources. But the level of expectancy is huge and that creates pressure that players have to learn to cope with."

"The other side of the coin is that it creates a wonderful feeling from the public when we do well. The support is fantastic."

"The other day I passed two old ladies in the street who recognised me. They didn't just wish me luck - they were shaking their clenched fists and really urging us to go and do it for Wales."

"When you are successful you make people smile and that's great."

Tuesday, May 25 1999.

 Euro 2000 qualifying squad announced.
Bobby Gould has announced his squad for the two Euro 2000 qualifiers against Italy and Denmark in June.

The squad is as follows:-

Paul Jones (Southampton), Mark Crossley (Notts Forest), Kit Symons, Chris Coleman, Andy Melville (all Fulham), Adrian Williams (Wolves), Robert Page (Watford), Steve Jenkins (Huddersfield), John Robinson (Charlton), Robbie Savage (Leicester), Andy Johnson (Nottm Forest), Mark Hughes (Southampton), Gary Speed (Newcastle), Mark Pembridge (Benfica), Andy Legg (Cardiff), Darren Barnard (Barnsley), John Hartson (Wimbledon), Dean Saunders (Benfica), Ryan Giggs (Man Utd), Craig Bellamy (Norwich).

"What Bobby Gould said about Giggs:"

"We want him to be selected for United's two finals, to play well and to come off the pitch on both ocassions un-injured."

"We wish him well and just want to see him next weekend with us."

"We had a chat after Ryan picked up the latest of his injuries,"

"We got a very positive feedback from him, and there was certainly no indication that he would have to have an operation in the summer."

"What Bobby Gould said about Adrian Williams:"

"He's played a few reserve games and is at last raring to go for us. We will have to judge his match fitness when he joins up with the squad."

"What Bobby Gould said about Paul Jones:"

"Having Paul available is totally unexpected, it's a real bonus for us."

"What Bobby Gould said about Andy Legg:"

"He has had an exceptional season helping Cardiff win promotion, and has been selected because he is a specialist wing-back and we have had to utilise Mark Pembridge in that role of late, which - with no disrespect to Mark - has been a difficult position for him to fill."

Friday, May 21 1999.

 Gould to announce a squad of 20.
Bobby Gould has been given permission to name a squad of 20 instead of the usual 18 players for the two Euro 2000 qualifiers against Italy and Denmark in June.

The squad is announced on Friday.

Wednesday, May 19 1999.

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