Coleman: Woodburn can become a 'great' player

06 September, 2017, 12:24 | Author: Douglas Reid
  • Chris Coleman

It was a necessary intervention, allowing Chris Coleman's side to force their way back into the reckoning for World Cup qualification.

Ben Woodburn made a dream worldwide debut for Wales on Saturday night, appearing as a second-half substitute against Austria in Cardiff before winning the game late on with a sumptuous strike from distance. "I put him on because I thought he had a lot to offer, because I've seen a lot of him, and thankfully it worked out". "Austria will feel hard done by but on the balance of the second half we were the stronger team", said Coleman.

Wales continued to dictate possession without causing major problems for Austria apart from a long-range effort from Gareth Bale that stung the hands of visiting goalkeeper Heinz Lindner before Woodburn's goal changed the dynamics.

"If I thought he was going to be out of his depth I wouldn't put him through that".

Woodburn's victor boosted Wales' qualification hopes for the 2018 finals in Russian Federation, but he could also have played for England.

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"I would never take a gamble on a young player".

"One of us could be dropping out if it's a negative result, so I don't think either team is going into the game looking for a draw".

"20-25 minutes to go, still 0-0, but we have a strong bench - it is a great game for young Ben Woodburn to make his debut because they don't come much tougher than that with that much pressure".

Woodburn's club coach has been trying to dampen expectations around the player for a year already, but it is a mark of how highly Jürgen Klopp rates his young forward that he has not been allowed to leave Anfield on loan this season.

We're a couple of days removed from Ben Woodburn announcing himself to global in stunning fashion, but people have picked up on something freakish about the goal the Liverpool youngster served up against Austria on Saturday. But he has got a great future. "I do like to do a few shots at the end of training, so thankfully it paid off".

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