Rob Page sacked: Wales dismiss head coach after disappointing run of results

Dismissed: Rob Page has been relieved of his duties as manager of Wales (AP)
Dismissed: Rob Page has been relieved of his duties as manager of Wales (AP)

Rob Page has been sacked as manager of Wales, the country’s Football Association have confirmed.

The decision comes after Wales failed to beat minnows Gibraltar and suffered a heavy 4-0 defeat by Slovakia in their most recent round of friendlies this month, having been denied a place at Euro 2024 with an agonising play-off final defeat by Poland on penalties in Cardiff in March.

The Football Association of Wales (FAW) announced in a statement on Friday morning that they had chosen to “end Page’s contract”, with chief football officer Dave Adams, president Steve Williams and CEO Noel Mooney all paying tribute to the outgoing former Watford, Coventry and Sheffield United defender.

“On behalf of myself and the entire FAW, I extend our heartfelt gratitude to Rob for his commitment and dedication to his roles for the National Teams,” Mooney said.

“Under Rob Page’s leadership, our Cymru men’s team has achieved significant milestones and victories which have created many incredible memories for our nation, most notably our first World Cup in 64 years.”

A former Wales international with 41 caps and a coach of the Under-17, Under-19 and Under-21 teams as well as an assistant in the senior set-up, Page was appointed as the interim replacement for Ryan Giggs back in November 2020 and led Wales at the delayed Euro 2020 finals in the summer of 2021, where they got through the groups again but were knocked out emphatically in the last-16 by Denmark.

The 49-year-old then ensured qualification for Wales’ first World Cup appearance for 64 years via a dramatic play-off final win over Ukraine in Cardiff in June 2022, handed the permanent job three months later.

It was a disappointing winter campaign for Wales in Qatar, where they drew with the USA but then lost to both Iran and England to finish bottom of their group. They had also been relegated from the top tier of the Uefa Nations League in September 2022.

Wales finished third behind Turkey and Croatia in a tough qualifying group for Euro 2024, but advanced through to the play-offs, where they thrashed Finland 4-1 in Cardiff to set up another home tie with Poland, who advanced to the finals in Germany 5-4 on penalties after a goalless draw that saw Chris Mepham sent off deep into extra time and Dan James miss the crucial spot-kick.

An inexperienced team were heavily criticised after being held to a goalless draw by 203rd-ranked Gibraltar in Portugal earlier this month, with the pressure on Page then increasing after a 4-0 thrashing away by Euros-bound Slovakia.

Wales will now search for a successor to the former Port Vale and Northampton manager ahead of their return to action against Turkey and Montenegro in the Nations League in September, having also drawn Iceland in Group B4.