Wales manager Wilkinson ‘proud’ after dream start

Wales manager Wilkinson ‘proud’ after dream start
Women’s Euros 2025 qualifying: Wales 4-0 Croatia – highlights

Wales boss Rhian Wilkinson says there is still room for improvement from her side despite their 4-0 win over Croatia.

Two goals from Wales’ most-capped player, Jess Fishlock, and further strikes from Rachel Rowe and Angharad James ensured Wales’ Euro 2025 qualifying campaign got off to a dream start.

Wales will now travel to Kosovo looking to maintain their 100% winning record.

“I was really proud,” Wilkinson said.

“I have asked the players to do some things that they haven’t done before.

“We made a few tweaks at half-time and I was really pleased with what they delivered. It is a proud day for me.

“But I think we can be even more clinical.

“I will chase performances. It is very special for me to be in this job. We had a good performance tonight, but we will chase great.”

Wilkinson paid tribute to midfielder Fishlock after her player of the match performance inspired Wales.

“I don’t think there are enough accolades for Jess,” she told BBC Sport Wales.

“On the field she is a huge player for Wales and the way she handles everything as a role model is something special.”

‘The goalscoring record is not something I think about’

Fishlock’s two goals mean she is now Wales’ second highest goalscorer, two goals behind record scorer Helen Ward, but now one goal ahead of Gareth Bale.

Fishlock’s opportunity to break or tie Ward’s record will come as early as Tuesday when Wales travel to Kosovo for their second Euro 2025 qualifier.

“The record is not something I think about, I just want to do my best for the team,” Fishlock told Match of the Day Wales.

“I won’t think about it too much, but I bet Helen [Ward] is watching it closely.

“I’m really proud of this group.

“Rhian has come in, we’ve only had a couple of days together and we’ve scored four goals and kept a clean sheet.”

Fishlock admits winning her 150th cap, and becoming the first Wales player to do so, will be a special accolade.

“Tuesday will be huge, not just for me and my family, but for every women who has put on the Welsh jersey,” she said.

“It’s not just my moment, it’s for everyone who has come before me and helped me get to this point.”

Wilkinson admitted it was a tough decision to substitute her taliswoman when she was on a hat-trick.

“Jess can only play at 100%, so in the end I had to take her off to save her from herself,” she added.

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