Wales’s Turkey Trip Gives Them An Instant Chance To Make Amends.

Wales will face Turkey tonight, desperate to salvage something from their European Championship qualifying window.

Most pundits and former players had talked optimistically about a four-point tally from the two ties – against Armenia on Friday night in Cardiff and then the trip to face the Turkish.

But that four-point target is already out of reach following the shock 4-2 defeat to the Armenians which manager Rob Page called a “slap in the face”.

Punch in the guts might have been a better metaphor since it was far more painful than the mere sting of a shock scoreline.

To most – including Page, judged by his pre-match comments – the three points from the home fixture against the Armenians was a banker. Now, the cheque has bounced.

Page signed a four-year contract in September but has come under increasing pressure after a dreadful run of one win in 11 games since qualifying for the 2022 World Cup.

“We had a group meeting (on Saturday) and addressed what needed to be said,” Page said ahead of Monday’s crunch qualifier against Turkey in Samsun.

“We’ve put it to bed and full focus is on the challenge here and we’ll all be ready for it.

“What I want is a reaction from the players, and that is in the performance. If they do that the result will take care of itself.

“We’re a team in progression, a team in transition, so we have to remind ourselves where on the journey we are.”

Wales supporters let their anger known at the final whistle on Friday as defeat allied to Turkey’s last-gasp 3-2 win in Latvia left them off two points off the Group D leaders.

Page said disappointment was heightened by expectation after Wales’ first World Cup for 64 years in Qatar and the poor run of results were partly down to the quality of opposition they had played.

“I think the reason it was such a low moment was because of expectations we put on ourselves, because of results we’ve had and performances we’ve had,” Page said of Wales’ first European Championship home qualifying defeat for 12 years.

Skipper Aaron Ramsey insists Wales can turn their fortunes around with the Turkey clash representing the halfway point of the qualifying campaign.

“I believe in this team, I am confident,” said Ramsey.

“We have a good opportunity to get back on track, concentrate on performance and hopefully the rest will take care of itself.

“We are in a decent position. If we can take full advantage of tomorrow night we will be back in this group.”

Vice-captain Ben Davies has not travelled to Samsun as the Tottenham defender has stayed at home for the birth of his first child.

Kieffer Moore also misses out after being sent off in the closing stages against Armenia.

While Wales are in Turkey, in neighbouring Greece former Wales manager Chris Coleman spent the weekend celebrating.

Not a victory on the field, but the extension of his contract with Greek Super League club Atromitos for a further season after 18 months in charge.

Coleman said:

“I have been in Greece and in Peristeri for a year and a half now. During this time, I feel everyone here is like a family. The staff, the commanders, everyone. And, of course, the fans.

“From the first moment they have loved me and I have loved them and together we can have Atromitos in a very strong position and improve.”