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Lewis Koumas point made after Liverpool youngster's Wales debut ends in boos

Lewis Koumas replaced Liam Cullen to make his Wales debut vs Gibraltar
-Credit: (Image: Fran Santiago/Getty Images)


Wales manager Robert Page used Lewis Koumas as an example of a positive for his side after they were held to an embarrassing 0-0 draw by Gibraltar. The highly-rated Liverpool youngster won his first cap but it was not marked with a win as expected.

Already hurting after failing to qualify for this year's European Championships, Wales' inability to beat the 203rd-ranked team in the world marked a low point for Page's regime. He was booed by some sections of the Welsh fans who traveled to Portugal and there were few positives to emerge.

However, Page made a point to single out Koumas after his lively cameo. He was introduced as a substitute for Liam Cullen in the 73rd minute and made an instant impact with a quick turn-and-shot forcing a save from the Gibraltar goalkeeper. Page also singled out Koumas' work-rate off the ball - something he felt some teammates could have learned from.

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“I think there’s a few that have done really well,” Page told S4C after the game. “Lewis has come on for 15, 20 minutes and given a good account of himself.

“He’s had a great shot on his left foot and his work rate without the ball….there’s a couple of others that might have to look at themselves with regards to work-rate off the ball.”

Page admitted he could understand the reaction from Wales' fans. Asked about being booed, he said: "They are entitled to their opinion, absolutely. I get it, I completely get it.

"I'm a Welsh supporter as well as the manager, I'm disappointed. But I have to keep saying about the bigger picture and I'll probably get criticised for that. It's the bigger picture and we're not going to lose focus on what we've done."

Prior to Koumas' debut, Page explained how his Liverpool first-team emergence meant it was impossible to ignore him for a call-up. “How can I ignore it when he has done what he has done for Liverpool in the first team," Page said.

“It would be foolish for me to ignore it. I have to use this little window we have to see him work and to see him train.

“I think it’s a no-brainer for me to expose some of the young ones now to the environment, to how we train, to how we work and get us ready for the Nations League in September and beyond that, then the World Cup qualifiers.”