Danny Ward hoping his Wales form can turn around his fortunes at Leicester

·3-min read

Danny Ward hopes his Wales form can turn around his fortunes at relegation-threatened Leicester.

Goalkeeper Ward lost his place before the international break, with Daniel Iversen preferred for the Foxes’ 1-1 Premier League draw at Brentford.

Whether Ward reclaims the gloves for Saturday’s crunch trip to fellow strugglers Crystal Palace remains to be seen, but he will return to his club buoyed by impressive performances against Croatia and Latvia that saw Wales open their Euro 2024 qualifying campaign with four points.

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Arsenal v Leicester City – Premier League – Emirates Stadium
Danny Ward has had a difficult season at struggling Leicester (Mike Egerton/PA)

“It hasn’t been easy, but it was business as normal for me,” Ward said after keeping Wales’ first clean sheet for 10 games in the 1-0 home victory over Latvia.

“The big thing about this group for the last nine or 10 years I have been here is we are all pals off the pitch.

“It’s been really nice to come back, especially after not doing ourselves justice and doing what we are capable of at the World Cup.”

Asked if he had to park his disappointment at being dropped at club level, Ward – who succeeded long-time custodian Kasper Schmeichel at the start of the season – said: “Yes. That’s all you can do.

“You have to concentrate on the job at hand. When I am with Wales, it’s 100 per cent with Wales.

“But everyone wants to play in the Premier League. It’s massive.

“We have got ourselves in a position at Leicester which we are not too happy with. That’s obvious and rightly so.

“We have to go again. We have got 10 games left of the season so we have to give everything to keep the club in the league.

“It’s as simple as that. It will be tough but we have to have a real united front with everyone involved and we will get there.”

Ward has taken over as Wales’ number one again following Wayne Hennessey’s World Cup red card, the 29-year-old having started against England in Qatar.

Hennessey missed the opening two Euro 2024 qualifiers after picking up an injury at Nottingham Forest.

Ward made vital saves against both Croatia and Latvia in reaching the 30-cap mark.

Wales v Iran – FIFA World Cup 2022 – Group B – Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium
Veteran goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey missed Wales’ Euro 2024 qualifiers against Croatia and Latvia through injury (Martin Rickett/PA)

“To get the points haul we have and the two performances, albeit very different, is something to build on,” said Ward.

“It’s encouraging signs. I thought we gave two very different performances, we know how good Croatia are and to come away from there with a point was massive and has grown belief.

“The Latvia game was more about dominating the ball, we had a lot of it but we maybe weren’t quite as sharp as we would like to be.

“But it felt like a real Wales performance where we could deal with anything towards the end of the game.

“We go back to our clubs now, but it’s really whet the appetite for us all and we will go again in the summer.”