World Cup 2022: Robert Page bemoans dreadful Wales display against Iran and hints at changes for England clash

World Cup 2022: Robert Page bemoans dreadful Wales display against Iran and hints at changes for England clash

Wales boss Robert Page admitted his side got what they deserved for a dreadful performance as they were stunned by two late Iran goals on Friday.

Wales have waited 64 years to return to the World Cup but are on the brink of a group stage exit after they were beaten 2-0 by an Iran side who had been thrashed 6-2 by England just four days earlier.

Both goals came in stoppage time but Iran were more than value for the result, having already hit the woodwork twice and had a goal disallowed before the red card for goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey that saw Wales finish with 10 men.

“Absolutely, they deserved the win,” Page said. "I'm not going to sit here with sour grapes and say we deserved anything out of that game.

"We weren't in the game at all. You can carry one or two players if they have off days, but when the majority of the team are not quite at it, there's only going to be one outcome unfortunately.

FIFA World Cup 2022 Qatar | Best Images and Moments

Germany players pose with their hands covering their mouths as they line up for the team photos prior to the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group E match between Germany and Japan at Khalifa International Stadium (Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)
Germany players pose with their hands covering their mouths as they line up for the team photos prior to the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group E match between Germany and Japan at Khalifa International Stadium (Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)
Costa Rica’s Jewison Bennette is tackled by Spain’s Rodri oduring the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group E match at Al Thumama Stadium (Clive Mason/Getty Images)
Costa Rica’s Jewison Bennette is tackled by Spain’s Rodri oduring the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group E match at Al Thumama Stadium (Clive Mason/Getty Images)
England’s Jude Bellingham celebrates scoring his team’s first goal during the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group B football match v Iran at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha (Adrian Dennis/AFP via Getty Images)
England’s Jude Bellingham celebrates scoring his team’s first goal during the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group B football match v Iran at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha (Adrian Dennis/AFP via Getty Images)
Neymar of Brazil cuts between Andrija Zivkovic (l) and Sasa Lukic (r) of Serbia during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group G match between Brazil and Serbia at Lusail Stadium (Getty Images)
Neymar of Brazil cuts between Andrija Zivkovic (l) and Sasa Lukic (r) of Serbia during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group G match between Brazil and Serbia at Lusail Stadium (Getty Images)
Iran’s Mehdi Taremi collides with Wales goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey during theIR FIFA World Cup Group B match at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium, Al-Rayyan (PA)
Iran’s Mehdi Taremi collides with Wales goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey during theIR FIFA World Cup Group B match at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium, Al-Rayyan (PA)
South Korea’s Son Heung-min in action (REUTERS)
South Korea’s Son Heung-min in action (REUTERS)
England’s Bukayo Saka and Raheem Sterling throw a rubber toy during a training session at Al Wakrah Stadium (The FA via Getty Images)
England’s Bukayo Saka and Raheem Sterling throw a rubber toy during a training session at Al Wakrah Stadium (The FA via Getty Images)
Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates scoring their first goal with a banner of Argentina’s Lionel Messi in the background (REUTERS)
Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates scoring their first goal with a banner of Argentina’s Lionel Messi in the background (REUTERS)
England’s Bukayo Saka in action with Iran’s Ali Karimi and Milad Mohammadi (REUTERS)
England’s Bukayo Saka in action with Iran’s Ali Karimi and Milad Mohammadi (REUTERS)
Saudi Arabia’s Salem Al-Dawsari scores their second goal past Argentina’s Emiliano Martinez (Hannah McKay/Reuters)
Saudi Arabia’s Salem Al-Dawsari scores their second goal past Argentina’s Emiliano Martinez (Hannah McKay/Reuters)
Wales’ Gareth Bale celebrates scoring their equaliser v USA (REUTERS)
Wales’ Gareth Bale celebrates scoring their equaliser v USA (REUTERS)

"I'm disappointed, more because we fell well below the standards we've set in recent months that's got us success to qualify for the World Cup. If we'd have met those standards, we'd have been alright, but we fell well below that today, and when you do that in top competitions, you get punished.

"This is a hard one to take because of the stage we're on. I've said to them before every game, 'go out and show the world what you show us every day'. That is not a true reflection of that team. They got their rewards today, they deserved that defeat. That's not like them, and that's what disappoints me the most.”

Robert Page has hinted at changes to his Wales team for their must-win clash with England (AFP via Getty Images)
Robert Page has hinted at changes to his Wales team for their must-win clash with England (AFP via Getty Images)

Wales have just one point from their opening two matches and to have any chance of qualifying from Group B must now beat England in their final game on Tuesday, though even that may not be enough if results elsewhere go against them.

The game will be Wales’ third in nine days and Page admits he may have to make significant changes to his side in a bid to spark them into life after two flat attacking displays.

"That's the problem we always have, asking players who are not playing for their clubs to come and give performance after performance," he said. "We are going to have to look at it and, if necessary, we'll have to make the changes to freshen it up."