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Relentless Ethan Ampadu Can’t Wait For Wales To Chop Down The Poles

Ethan Ampadu reckons Wales are now battle-hardened enough to chop down the Poles next week – and take their place at the Euro 2024 finals this summer.

The Wales midfielder played another key role for his team on Thursday night as they flattened Finland 4-1 at the Cardiff City Stadium to set up a play-off final showdown against Poland on Tuesday.

Ampadu is one of four Leeds United players in Welsh ranks at present – alongside Connor Roberts, Joe Rodon and Dan James.

Leeds have already played 38 tough league games so far this season, with just six defeats and Ampadu hasn’t missed a single one of them.

The 23-year-old – who became the youngest player to earn 50 caps for Wales – believes the intensity of the club’s promotion campaign is paying dividends for Wales.

“It is better when you play every four days, rather than just once a week,” says Ampadu.

“We are used to that schedule, so there’s no problem about getting ready for the Poland match so soon after the Finland game.

“A lot of us have come in before and had to turn the switch on when we haven’t had many minutes at club level. It always helps when you are in more of a rhythm.

“We have always wanted to play games here at the Cardiff City Stadium. We know how special they are and the special connection we have with the fans.”

Ampadu led the way for Wales with a 91 per cent pass completion rate, three  chances created, seven ball recoveries, and two successful tackles.

“It was a special night for me to get 50 caps. But it was more important to get a special result and we did that.

“We were disappointed with the goal we conceded.  We wanted to cut out those moments and not give them a sniff of getting back into the game.”

Poland will also be coming off the back of a big win, having thrashed Estonia 5-1 in Warsaw.

“We will recover, and then do exactly the same preparations as we did for this game,” added Ampadu.

Manager Rob Page also pinpointed Dan James as a symbol of why Wales will go into Tuesday night’s play-off final with huge confidence.

Wales have not beaten the Poles for over 50 years, but are just one more home victory from making their fourth major tournament finals out of the last five.

Substitute James also celebrated his 50th cap with a fine second-half solo goal but although the Leeds player has been in superb form for his club with 12 goals already this season, he still could not make the Wales starting line-up as Page went for David Brooks, Harry Wilson and Brennan Johnson as his front three.

That left James and Kieffer Moore as options to bring off the bench – a show of strength in depth that Wales have not always carried in the past.

“Dan James was fantastic, on his 50th cap, he got the goal he deserved,” said Page.

“It goes to show the confidence he’s got. We’ve got players coming off the bench full of confidence… you can really see it in the performance.”

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